[TRIGGER WARNING: SUBSTANCE USE, SUICIDAL IDEATION]
This has been a particular problem in Seattle, where multiple anti-homeless groups masquerading as people who are concerned about safety or whatever the fuck, but as poverty and homelessness get worse across the U.S., it'll spread everywhere.
I'm not sure if I've stressed this on this blog yet, but homeless people are part of the community. The homeless in your community are part of your community. They are the people who have been failed by society. We should be trying to help them. Instead, we've come to blame them for their situations. I see so many people using this blanket blame that allows them to ignore the problem - the idea that if you're homeless, you must deserve it. Blanket this over all homeless people and you don't have to put any effort into helping them or even feeling bad for them, right?
Again, it's the just world fallacy. It's also a symptom of the belief that you have the right to judge people without even knowing them. It's been used to spread hatred of migrants and it's being used spread hatred of homeless people.
The idea of choice also plays a role. I see a lot of homeless-hating assholes claiming that some ridiculously high percentage of homeless people "choose" to be homeless (without sources). They'll claim that such and such family member decided it was easier to be homeless.
I'm sure sometimes that's true. You know how I'm sure? I've considered it. Sometimes paying rent and all the bills just feels so overwhelming. I've held full-time jobs that I've hated so much, so many jobs I've hated, and felt like there is no way for me to function in this world because every regular job I've ever held has made me literally suicidal. I actually considered whether I should buy a van or something I could live in so that I could work a minimal amount and just pay for gas and insurance and a cheap gym membership so I could shower.
Because living a "normal" life was just so hard. I got so tired of it. And if I were a cis dude instead of a cis woman, maybe I would have chosen homelessness because it would have been so much safer for me to do so as a cis dude.
Does that mean all homeless deserve to be harassed by police constantly, to have everyone trying to push them out of any place they try to live, to deny them basic human needs like a place to go to the bathroom?
Seattle has no public toilets. Now Seattle residents who aren't homeless are complaining that there's "trash and shit everywhere." Uh, yeah, hello, where are homeless people supposed to shit? You won't let them stay in one place long enough to dig a latrine. Every shop and restaurant and coffee shop now has locked bathrooms opened by codes you can only get if you buy something.
What would you do if you were homeless? Homelessness can be so stressful, and the dehumanization and hatred from non-homeless is so intense that it's no wonder they stop giving a fuck about anything. You treat people that badly and then you expect them to bag up their trash and take it, where, to one of the locked dumpsters around the city? You expect them to, what, dig holes every time they need to shit? To keep the city that failed them and hates them looking nice? For you?
Are you kidding me?
It's pretty much established fact now that it's cheaper to house homeless people than to leave them homeless. Giving them housing would give them a place to shit and throw out their trash and, if they so choose or if they are compelled by addiction, do their drugs out of your sight. Why would anyone be against it? Because they haven't suffered enough? Because something something "handouts"?
Anyway, be aware of anti-homeless hate and be ready to stand against it. The more that hate spreads and results in laws that make their lives even harder, the more people will die from homelessness. Don't let the rich assholes kill even more people.