Clean Sweep

Wasn’t going to start populating this blog with research on “Lower Debt” until after VisionFest 2009, but this popped up today in a routine surf to avoid work:

Homeless “Sweeps” in Edgewater from Gapers Block, which refers to a report at the Chi-Town Daily News Homeless “sweeps” get mixed reviews. Basically, they’ve got four government departments working to clean the parks of unwanted homeless who set up camp after hours. Even the homeless agree that “There’s always bad apples in a bunch,” but they are not getting rid of the bad apples, they are getting rid of the lot.

“The goal is to get [homeless people] to a place where they can live independently,” says one official. Aren’t they already doing that? At least some of them? They are just not following the rules. As one commenter argues, “Your enabling would turn the lakefront into a camp for homeless from all over the city to enjoy.” Heavens forbid that people enjoy the lakefront.

It’s an interesting discussion here. There is really no way to eradicate the entire homeless population and there will always be a certain percentage of the population who want them out of sight. “To me, a park sweep is more for the benefit of others, and for the benefit of making the [neighborhood] look good.” So, how do you resolve? Let them be? Or sweep them all under the rug (or into the ocean)? What about keeping an eye out for those bad apples? Get them out of there. Keep a reign so that those who really have no other place to go can squat on a little piece of the city for a night then enjoy their days else where. Cleaning up the homeless state of mind rather than cleaning them up off the street? But that’s crazy talk! Changing people’s minds, ha! Changing anything, ha ha!

Or, maybe you have the answer… How would you change the world?