Monday, November 19, 2007

Feed the Homeless, Break the Law

Stories like this one (noting that a consortium of churches that organized a free lunch in Washington Park are acting contrary to Cincinnati ordinances, as the city won't issue a permit for such events) are likely to become more common as OTR development continues. If CityLink is built (and remember, our court of appeals just said that it can be), there no doubt will be an increased effort to shut down the Drop Inn Center.

Ultimately, the problem of providing for our city's homeless is going to be an excrutiatingly difficult issue for Mayor Mallory and City Council. It's true, of course, that many associate "homeless" with either "criminal" or "panhandler," and to the extent that happens (regardless of whether that mental association is based on reality), a visible homeless population hurts development efforts. But it's also true that in America's cities, the homeless have always tended towards the inner-city. CityLink probably won't cause a migration of our homeless population to the West Side (and if it does, what happens to redevelopment efforts there?).

True solutions (e.g., finding ways to eradicate homelessness) are unlikely, as both city and county leaders are likely to slash the few dollars that are presently slated towards social services. How we treat our homeless (who are often some of the most vulnerable among us) will say a lot about what our City will become in these transitional times.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.