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Belongings: How the Homeless Live

From a fascinating LA Times exploration of the belongings that LA’s homeless keep with them:

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on proposals to make it easier for the city to remove homeless people’s belongings from sidewalks and public parks. Previous efforts to seize property left on sidewalks and to arrest homeless people for sleeping in the streets were struck down by federal judges.

But faced with an 85% rise in encampments in the last two years, the city is looking for new ways to clean up homeless enclaves without running afoul of the courts. Many of the city’s 26,000 homeless residents live in tents or lean-tos, and gather possessions both practical and personal.

Here’s an idea: instead of wasting so much energy figuring out how to further alienate and demoralize a incredibly marginalized segment of society, why not figure out how to make it easier for the homeless to get off the streets?

Kicking them out of their living spaces and stealing their possessions just worsens things.

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