|| Mean cities, kind cities
By ARTHUR JONES
According to the Washington-based National Law Center on
Homelessness and Poverty, the five U.S. cities with the "meanest streets" --
determined by a city's clear intention to expel the homeless -- are Atlanta,
San Francisco, New York, Dallas and San Diego.
Three cities and one county, however, were praised for a more
constructive approach to homelessness:
- In West Hollywood, the city has created an innovative community
policing program that uses service providers rather than police officers to
make initial contact with homeless persons.
- Seattle, responding to a lack of downtown public toilets, has
offered to fund a "hygiene center" to provide free toilets, showers and laundry
facilities for homeless people and other city residents.
- Tucson, Ariz., has created a standing committee of advocates
for homeless people in an effort to resolve complaints before taking law
- Dade County, Fla., has placed a 1 percent tax on meals
purchased at restaurants grossing over $400,000 per year to fund facilities and
services for the homeless.
National Catholic Reporter, December 27,
1996/January 3, 1997