Can you imagine being arrested for sleeping in your own car?
Unfortunately, this actually happens to homeless people in 43 percent of all cities in the United States, according to this article. These people, who have nowhere else to go, are being penalized for their bosses laying them off, their houses burning down and for not having a perfect back-up plan. Under what circumstances is this fair?
This goes to show the attitude that we have towards the homeless; one of rejection and alienation rather than sympathy. I’ll admit that I don’t like being approached by a stranger asking me for stuff anymore than the next guy, but to go as far as to criminalize someone for just being down on his or her luck is beyond shameful. Panhandling is one thing, but simply being in a car at night rather than a house shouldn’t be an issue if you’re not obstructing anyone anyway. I wonder if this law is enforced on regular people who just happen to be sleeping in their cars on a given night for some reason.
Instead of taking someone to prison for not having four walls around them, why not take him or her to a shelter, a counseling center or somewhere they receive some kind of help for their situation? Imprisoning people for being homeless isn’t going to eliminate homelessness in general; that can only come from people extending a helping hand. It starts with a change of attitude towards those less fortunate than us, and hopefully a little less presumption when we see someone sleeping in a car.