An article on how states get rid of their homeless. (12 OCT ’15) This is a followup article on a previous article of mine on how quite a few American cities have made it a crime to be homeless. As I don’t believe this post’s subject is getting any media attention, it falls on me to report it. The subject of homeless people may not seem important to some people. I, myself, can’t help thinking about how Christ described his homelessness, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”(A) The Word of God says he did this for our sake, “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor…”(B) Nor can I forget how Apostle Paul described his homelessness,(C) nor the sufferings of Zion being homeless.(D) Statistically, the polls show that homeless people are more often than not despised. Undoubtedly, some rejected Christ because he did not come as a wealthy king full of military might, but as a poor homeless teacher of the common people. It seems the rich & powerful & famous are easier to like.
WHY DID YOU COME TO PORTLAND?…WHAT? Quite a few of the homeless in downtown Portland, when they were talked to, described how California bused them up to Portland, telling these homeless people that Oregon would take far better care of them than California could. Utah & Nevada have done the same thing to Portland.
CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS ARE DOUBLE-STANDARD HYPOCRITES. On April 22, 2013, the Attorney General for San Francisco began a criminal investigation to get Nevada officials in legal problems because Nevada had bused around 500 homeless psychiatric cases to California,… of course without California’s knowledge or approval. The attorney general called the busing “inhumane and illegal”. He said, “We’re prepared to litigate aggressively on behalf of San Francisco.”(E) Nevada had been busing homeless to CA for 5 yrs. These homeless psychiatric cases were told that sunny California would give them “excellent health care and more benefits than you could ever get in Nevada.” One bus from Nevada shipped 36 homeless to San Francisco. (Other Nevada buses went to other California cities, and in fact NV also shipped their homeless all over the USA!) Strangely, now San Francisco is shipping their homeless to Portland, saying about the same thing as Nevada did! (Will the Attorney General of San Francisco be criminally investigating his own city officials?…doesn’t appear like that is in the works!) This kind of busing of the homeless to other cities is not exactly new for California. For instance, when L.A. upgraded their downtown area, they shipped their homeless to San Bernardino (& perhaps other places).
OTHER KINDS HOMELESS BUSING. Not all busing of the homeless is open to question. In NYC, city officials round up the homeless and put them on buses and vans to take them to dorms, shelters & armory beds. That is a totally different situation than shipping them off to another state! And then there are the homeless from disasters like Katrina, incl. the workers who came to help who were also homeless. These refugees & relief workers both had to be bused to temporary locations. That is yet another different kind of situation.
FINAL THOUGHTS. So are the homeless better off in Portland than sunny California? I can’t answer that. I know that when our rainy season comes, the homeless head south via I-5 to dry, warm California. I have visited skid row missions in L.A. & in Portland, but my visits to the L.A. missions were back in 1979, and my trips to Portland’s in recent years—so I have no way to compare. I did get to know an Amishman in L.A. who had devoted himself to helping the homeless; a rather unusual phenomena from someone who had been raised in a culture with no homelessness. Christ said we would always have the poor with us. (F) His message to his followers was consistently to distribute help to these people. It is a form of ministry, & Christ said that if you did it to one of these homeless persons, you had done it to him. How quietly dumping your homeless onto another state without its approval can be justified is another question.
REFERENCES: (A) MT 8:20, LK 9:58 (B) 2 COR 8:9 (C) 1 COR 4:11 (D) LAM 4:5 (E) PR newswire article on 4/22/13 (F) MT 26:11, MK 14:7