The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Homeless ordinances cross a line

Corey Color WEB


Have you ever thought of homelessness as crime?

The city council of Columbia, S.C., voted unanimously to criminalize homelessness on Aug. 14, according to the Huffington Post.

Councilman Cameron Runyan told WISTV that the move is meant to serve as a stopgap for a “problem that has plagued (Columbia) for a generation and a half, at least.”

It seems to me that this is not the best method of remedying the problem. Would it not be more appropriate to offer programs and assistance for these people to get jobs and leave the streets?

Columbia isn’t alone in their efforts to demonize homelessness, however.

Love Wins Ministries attempted to hand out free, hot breakfast to the homeless in Moore Square in Raleigh on Saturday morning, according to the ministry’s official blog.

Three officers from the Raleigh Police Department stopped the charity and informed the volunteers that if they continued to attempt the distribution of food, they would be arrested for giving out food in an open, public area rather than a private establishment with a license.

If you tried to go out and volunteer to help others and you were threatened with jail time, what exactly would you think?

This puzzling trend seems to be very new. The ministry blog also mentioned that they had distributed food to the area homeless people for more than six years with no issues until now.

This alarmingly seems to point to not only the illegalization of homelessness, but also the elimination or hindrance of assistance from kind-hearted volunteers.

It seems that actions like these are sending mixed messages to willing volunteers. Is it not our individual right to help out other human beings who are in need?

According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina is working to meet the temporary long-term needs of homeless residents as part of a statewide 10-year plan to end homelessness. The plan cites “aggressive prevention strategies and planning” as well as more permanent supported housing and individual plans for each county.

Developments such as these are a step in the right direction.

Perhaps it is time that councilman Runyan and the rest of the Columbia City Council take a look at the steps North Carolina is taking, besides the debacle in Raleigh, to remedy the issue of homelessness.

Spiers, a journalism major from Charlotte, is the opinion editor.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1111
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1111
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *