Homeless Ordinances Unconstitutional?
Plazoid asks if I would comment on the recent decision by some court that supposedly makes anti- camping ordinances unconstitutional. Ok. I'll take a shot at it:
I have mixed feelings on the decision, but we still have a ways to go before we know just how this decision will be applied.
On one hand I've always been perplexed by the issue of the homeless. They have to sleep somewhere, but where? I was somewhat sympathetic to those that set up homeless encampents on the South Jetty and Clam Beach.
I was also relieved when those camps were broken up as it seemed to reduce the presence of the riff raff in downtown Eureka to some degree, but everbody has to sleep somewhere, don't they?
I'm concerned about the effect of this latest decision, if for no other reason than it will likely end up being taken to ridiculous extremes, as so many things do nowadays. People do have a right to sleep, I suppose, but not necessarily at my, or anyone else's, expense.
I suspect that we'll see more instances of vagrants occupying both public and private property and claiming it's their "right", as a result of this decision. Hopefully, local authorities will find some angle they can use with this decision that will result in some semblence of protection for the general public.
I don't mind if there's homeless people sleeping on the Balloon Tract, but decisions like this will likely lead to the homeless folks feeling they have a right to sleep in my back yard...literally.