It’s now illegal to be homeless, at least in Columbia, South Carolina. Homeless people are set to be shipped off to a camp on the outskirts of town – but the kicker is that the shelter only has 250 beds, which are available on a first come, first serve basis. Once you’re in the camp, there’s no way of leaving, and there’s no room for the other thousand homeless residents left in the city. Sound too crazy to be true? Just wach the video below.
And it’s not just the homeless who will have a tougher time. People and organizations that wish to support or feed the homeless must pay a fee and obtain a permit 15 days in advance. One affected charity, Food Not Bombs, said they now will have to pay at least $120 to host their weekly free meal picnic, in which they offer free food to anyone who needs it. The organization has been holding these free picnics in Finlay Park every Sunday for the last 12 years.
According to the group’s organizer Judith Turnipseed, “We have no formal organization. We don’t have a 501(c)(3). We’re just a group of people who come to the park and bring food and share it with anyone who comes. That includes people who are homeless, and people who have a home but are hungry. It’s a people’s picnic.”
The government of Columbia has even removed several public benches from downtown areas, and have encouraged citizens to be ready to call police if they see anyone suspected of being homeless. Do you think that this is the job of the government, or have they stepped too far?