Unrealistic, Unconstitutional, And Unhelpful : On Homeless Criminalization

868 Words4 Pages
Name: Koehler, Meara
Student ID: C02470584
Course CRN Number: 82974.201523

Unrealistic, Unconstitutional, and Unhelpful: On Homeless Criminalization

Hansi Lo Wang of National Public Radio reports that as of nine months ago, New York City’s homelessness rates have reached record-breaking heights. Reading his report, I was not surprised by the trend; the real-estate market has no regard for low-income families and individuals, and according to Wang’s report, this is especially true in New York. (Wang) The Coalition for the Homeless describes housing affordability in the city as a crisis, disproportionately affecting African-American and Latino people. Children have been hit the hardest by the rising homelessness rates. (Markee) What I hadn’t expected to learn while researching New York’s situation is this: the city’s crime rate is lower than it was last year by 5.6%. (Wang) I was inspired to examine why I, along with residents of New York City, jumped straight to the conclusion that higher homelessness rates would coincide with higher crime rates. I became alarmed by the assumption that homeless people would make the city “menacing and unlivable”, as the New York Post suggests, and how quickly I had come to it. (Post) According to surveys, New Yorkers believe that their city of declining crime rates is actually becoming more dangerous. (Wang) My opinion on the situation in New York quickly developed from that point on in my reading. Criminalizing homeless people will not

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