Homelessness continues to be an escalating issue in our community.
The sit-lie ban is ineffective as a short-term fix to a long-standing problem. While it may get folks off the streets and connected with social workers and police support for the time-being, it really doesn’t solve the problem. The state and county should work together rather than compete to identify properties for development of long-term, low-income units on state and county land, provide comprehensive services related to job training and employment placement, and ensure access to subsidized education to assist in transition of these residents from the streets into the workforce and affordable permanent housing.
These long-term efforts are the challenge and solutions to this long-standing problem are needed now through tax incentives for private developers who build low-income rental units; creative mental health outreach programs to help street folks live law-abiding productive lives; and enforcing vagrant laws while ensuring that the interim shelters and social services are in place in order to make enforcement meaningful.
District homeless pictures from KITV archives.