‘Quit just giving them stuff!’

       I don't know how many ways this has to be said before people listen. The first step in controlling the homeless problem in this city is quit just giving them stuff!
       The situation has gone beyond compassion to enabling indolent behavior and lifestyles. Begging has become a job, and our community a destination for those looking to live free and enjoy a hassle-free, drug-enhanced existence.
       Morality aside, from a purely pragmatic approach, the myriad homeless camps, which have visually blighted our city, need to be cleaned out. I believe that every traveler going through - we're on an interstate highway, after all - tells tales of what they see.
       Furthermore, from a purely hygienic position, rough camping without facilities adjacent to trails and entrances to our economy and vistas has seriously degraded their value.
       Because all resources are limited - individual giving and government programs alike - whatever is given to the undeserving is not available to those actually in need.
       I would propose that we go back to medieval days and license our beggars. This would serve several purposes; one of which would require the indigent to get into the system where actual needs could be addressed, and another would be to weed out the “travelers,” whose only need is to get through life on the earnings of others.

Michael S. Welsh