Columbia, South Carolina Criminalizes Homelessness

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posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:03 AM
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Councilman Cameron Runyan (D), proposed an initiative in which homeless people are barred from entering the city. Any homeless person caught by special police patrols will be arrested and brought to a specific, remote homeless shelter in which they cannot leave. Police will also patrol the end of the road the shelter is on, any person caught trying to leave will be arrested and brought to jail. The initiative passed unanimously and is now law.


Police officers will now be assigned to patrol the city center and keep homeless people out. They will also be instructed to strictly enforce the city’s “quality of life” laws, including bans on loitering, public urination, and other violations. And just to ensure that no one slips through, the city will set up a hotline so local businesses and residents can report the presence of a homeless person to police.
In order to accommodate all the homeless people who will now be banned from downtown, the city will partner with a local charity to keep an emergency shelter on the outskirts of town open 24 hours a day. However, it’s unlikely the shelter, which can handle 240 guests, will be enough to handle the local homeless population, which numbers more than six times the available beds.
Homeless people can stay at the shelter, but they’re not permitted to walk off the premises. In fact, Columbia will even post a police officer on the road leading to the shelter to ensure that homeless people don’t walk towards downtown. If they want to leave, they need to set up an appointment and be shuttled by a van.
In other words, the 1,518 homeless people in the Columbia-area now have a choice: get arrested downtown or be confined to a far-away shelter that you can’t readily leave. Jail or pseudo-jail.


Think Progress




posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:08 AM
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How in the hell is a homeless person ever to acquire a home if they can't leave to look for a job and scan the rental market? This is another asinine law from government that is already wayyyyy beyond where it should be!



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by redoubt
 


They have to schedule an appointment to leave by van. I guess they never heard about the Constitution and it's promise of freedom of movement.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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Truly America sinks into a pool of poo.

Now, lets see. What comes next after the ghetto.

History tells us that the population of the Warsaw Ghetto were sent to the Gas Chambers next.

Well, I suppose the city should invest in some modern gas chambers.

That is where this is heading!

A free people - I think not!

P



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:19 AM
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That is absurd, and will most likely have a counter productive effect, in the sense that the homeless will become more desperate and will be forced further into the shadows, creating more crime and more social problems. At first it might clean up the streets, but it will do nothing to rehabilitate those who live on the street.

A few years ago I was really paranoid - now I am just a little paranoid - but back then I envisioned a future in which the US reintroduces serfdom. We had it in my country (Denmark) a little more than 200 years ago, and the basic principal was that peasants were confined to small areas or districts. They weren't allowed to travel, and they had to work from dusk til dawn if their master required it of them.
When I heard about the dramatic increase in prison population in the US, the way prisoners are used as cheap labor, and how the prison system had been privatized, I instantly thought that sometime in the distant future the US will return to such a system.

This law is defiantly a step in that direction



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:25 AM
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Yet another example of humanity losing it's compassion and empathy for others.
So how long will it take for the neighboring towns to pass the same thing, as I'm sure they will probably see an increase in their homeless population.

And just think, some person out there may show compassion, and let them stay on their land. Until the police show up and arrest them for some asinine reason.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:28 AM
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Another law passed by stupid people to protect them from having to gaze upon their potential future.

I like to ride around on my bicycle, I'm not broke or homeless, but Columbia south Carolina won't see me come by for supplies on my way to nowhere.

They might mistake me for a homeless person and stick me into a "Concentration Camp"..

Of course the so called "Non-Profit" shelter (Concentration Camp) has nothing to gain, that just couldn't be....



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:35 AM
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I live in S.C., but on the coast. Columbia sucks, it is a wannabe city that really sucks, its not even a city. I dread ever having to go there. My band played at 5 points this past summer in Columbia, a homeless crazy lady was outside the bar asking us for 15 cents, she had on an Obama tshirt. So I said "you like Obama huh? she says "oh lawd yes", Then I say "hes the best president we have ever had isn't he" ? ..she says "oh lawd yes" then I said "he does SO much for black people doesn't he"? she says "oh lawd yes he does"...then I say "so why are you asking me for money" ? She had urinated in her pants and just as I smelled it, her man walked up and yelled at her and told her to leave people alone and stop begging them.
Yes it sucked, but its a free country, or supposed to be. Maybe they should just enforce the law for the homeless wearing Obama shirts ? jk, All I know is, if you don't want to give money to a begging homeless person because you feel bad like me then do what I do, tell them you have some work to do for them and it pays well, that's all you have to say, works everytime, they will literally try and escape you. Columbia sucks, don't ever go there.
There is a long time homeless guy here that walks up and down the beach, he has made a religion out of not working, or so he says. So we LOVE for him to ask us for money because we offer work, easy stuff like taking out the trash for 10 bucks, super easy stuff, HE WONT DO IT, just walks away. From what Ive seen, its a hard life for most people who weren't lucky enough to have parents with money, and Ive also seen homeless people that were from money like the anti work guy.
edit on 21-8-2013 by jazztrance because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


IT seems rather over reaching.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by redoubt
 

How the hell is a guy down on his luck supposed to get a job if he has a bad credit rating?, that is a more appropriate question.

If one has a poor credit rating one can do nothing to even help themselves, let alone the fact most employers won't consider hiring someone who has been unemployed for over a certain period of time.

I don't suppose anyone thought of the potential "Organ Harvesting" potential from those poor unfortunate souls to help those non-productive, useless retired people who so fear all of those pesky homeless free people.

If people are not productive members of society (Retired), they really shouldn't have so much say in what people who are still trying have to do.

These laws are voted for by businesses and people who just sit around and worry about the curb appeal of their home while they wait around to die and go bankrupt, or both.

America has been morally bankrupt for quite some time.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:39 AM
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reply to post by jazztrance
 


Well I'm sure you'll like it much better now since that woman is probably at the shelter that she can't leave. Out your sight and you'll no longer have to deal with the hardship of a homeless, incontinent woman wearing an Obama t-shirt.




posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:42 AM
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It starts with the homeless. I hope these citizens that wanted that law realize that eventually it could be them.

The homeless have never been treated well in our society and that says something about our society. What it says about our society, I can't write here.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


No, actually we gave her money, and judging from her teeth, she went and bought crack, so if you want to feel sorry for begging crack ass people , who are incontinent because they are drunk, BE MY GUEST, oh and please judge me some more.
If a person is a non drug addict homeless person that is homeless because its tough for them, I understand and will help them but Im not buying them drugs.



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edit on 21-8-2013 by jazztrance because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-8-2013 by jazztrance because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:46 AM
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Well that law will get the homeless off the streets.
Stupidity.

I remember as a child, my mom told me that you should always have a couple of dollars in my pocket, because the police could haul you in for vagrancy if they stopped you and you had less than two dollars on you.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by jazztrance
 


Like you judged her? You're insinuating that it's okay to deny Constitutional rights to homeless people... you get that right?



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


I know my story made it sound like that, I kinda went off topic, but NO It should be a free country. For drug and non-drug addicted homeless people. Honestly I don't judge, but she came in my space and was disruptive. If she had a Romney shirt on, I wouldn't have given her a dime. That's judging.
edit on 21-8-2013 by jazztrance because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by jazztrance
 


Sorry that I misunderstood you.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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I'm a raging Trekkie, and have quoted Trek events before as parallels to actual events, but this move send a chill down my spine. Any Deep Space 9 fan should remember the season 3 2-parter, "Past Tense 1 & 2". These episodes dealt with a Trek-verse point in history called the Bell Riots.



By the 2020s, the American government – reacting to serious problems of homelessness and unemployment – created special Sanctuary Districts (essentially walled-off sections of the city grid) in most major cities. Unfortunately – while established with the benevolent intent of providing free housing and food, as well as prospects for future employment – the Sanctuaries quickly degenerated into inhumane internment camps for the poor. Even though people with criminal records were not allowed inside Sanctuaries, it didn't take long for the homeless and unemployed to be joined by the mentally ill and other, more violent, social outcasts. These groups were referred to by their slang terms – Gimmies, Dims, and Ghosts.

21st Century Bell Riots of the Trek Universe
We all know most of the tech in Star Trek wasn't too far off, we have a lot of it now. And some of the social ideas have mirrors in reality, obviously. This one was a rather disturbing social problem that I honestly did expect to see become reality, and now that SC is doing this, it's a close enough parallel to make me wonder if the ST writers were on to something.

To say this law disturbs me is an understatement. Look at how well controlling a society's undesirables has worked in the past (note my sarcasm) Nothing good can come from this.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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Having read the article and looked at the postings, the following can be stated:

A cage, no matter how guilded and plush is still a cage. Here are some of the problems that are coming out. The first is the point of homeless people, at times they are a problem to businesses, as having lived in a place where there was a large homeless population, the points of them loitering and or urinating in public is a valid one. There are often unseen problems that such people have, and many can not or do not want to go for help or assistence, or don't know where to go for assistence for such.
These problems range from mental, to physical, to addiction and other kinds of problems that sometimes no one can help. I have seen all kinds, and yet what to do about them?

Do you honestly think that a business wants to be so cruel as to see such imprisoned for begging or having no place to go? But at the same time, when it runs away your business, or deters customers then the businesses do have a right to complain and ask that something be done.

People become homeless for a large variety of reasons, and there has to be a way for them to help themselves, the biggest issue is the red tape to get the social services required to help them out of a bind. Some of which the first question is going to be, at this location, will there the the doctors, the professionals and other people who can give said assistence, or is it still going to be spred out? In most large cities, the doctors office is one place, the pharmacy is in another, the people who can give one set of social services are at another place, and more. And what about the population, are they going to say split up families, or allow them to keep together, what about the male and female population, will this now be 2 seperate population and then there are the children, do the get removed from the mix, furthering making things worse? There is not enough known about this, save that it does not appear to be a good idea. It looks for all intents and purposes a debtors prison.

If it passes, the sad part is that to challenge the law, people are going to have to go through the process of being taken there, leaving and getting arrested, then going to court, once that happens it can be challenged and removed, and then all of those brought in, under these laws can turn around and sue, well at least the bright note is that they will no longer be poor, but the city will suffer for it.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


In Myrtle beach, they keep count of the homeless, I always thought that was weird. Seriously though, I picked up boxes of protein bars from our local health food store and tried to pass them out to the homeless, no lie, they didn't want them, they wanted a cigarette. I have also tried and tried and tried to find help with my business and I started there with the homeless, seriously, I know they aren't all the same but it was impossible to do that, none of them were interested, they actually seemed afraid of me, so I just don't know what to do for them, Ive tried.

I think the comment above is valid in saying that some of them have some mental disabilities and maybe society should go in the direction of looking at it that way for SOME of them.
edit on 21-8-2013 by jazztrance because: (no reason given)





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