City of Miami to Homeless: Drop Dead

By: Eric Hunter

A few months ago, Judge Federico Moreno approved of a plan that would strip away some of the basic rights the homeless population of Miami were once given. This new plan prevents the homeless population from life sustaining activities within the city, such as making tents or campfires, sleeping on sidewalks or being able to clean themselves within the city limits. While this may seem like a logical decision, it’s founded in a bigoted viewpoint towards the poor and homeless and the policy will not be able to address the homeless problem.

Here in the US, we have this cultural belief in the rugged individual — a humble hard working person who earns their way into positions of power through their own effort. The flip side of this belief is that if you are poor or homelessness, you just aren’t working hard enough and thus bring troubles upon yourself.

With this focused emphasis on the individual, we may not question how a system functions and we lose a vital insight into how to empower ourselves and those less fortunate than us.

The stigma associated with being homeless is that they bring it upon themselves because they were poor and unambitious, that they are mentally ill or have drug addictions and therefore are irresponsible in leading their lives and thus deserve no sympathy. However these are merely popular stereotypes not reflective of the reality of the homeless population, nor the reasons they are homeless.

The biggest contributing factor to homelessness is the stagnation of low and minimum wages across the board. We can no longer fool ourselves into thinking that the current minimum wage can adequately shelter a person or provide for a family of four.

If a family cannot provide themselves with adequate housing through minimum wage, how are they supposed to afford the medical care they need to address physical and mental health issues? How are they supposed to save up money and keep their home if they’re constantly in debt by just being alive?

While Judge Federico Moreno was doing his best to be a neutral party and act in the best interests of the city of Miami, as citizens of Miami, we do have a say in how our neighbors are treated and we can’t sit idly by while the City decides to punish the homeless for merely existing.

opinion@fiusm.com

1 Comment on "City of Miami to Homeless: Drop Dead"

  1. While your heart is in the right place, your lack of understanding, history and likely years of life in Miami are clearly a factor in this opinion. The City of Miami has been very accommodating to the homeless population for many years. To wit, the City of Miami is the dumping ground to the homeless from all over Miami-Dade County. In addition many states bus their homeless population to Miami. (Google this to see.) Because all arrest end up in the City of Miami and or are released in the Civic center area the City of Miami is the hub for homeless activity and suffers from lack of support from all other municipalities in handling this issue. The City of Miami is the image city for South Florida and it is filled with homeless. Some are able to rehabilitate, others do not want to be helped. This affects property values, commerce, tourism and event the ability to enjoy your home.

    I wonder if FIU would be kind enough to host a few hundred homeless in their beautiful campus and allow them to make fires, bath and sleep on campus. Will the Beacon invite a few hundred homeless on campus and show the understanding it expects from the City of Miami?

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