With homelessness rising and shelter beds scarce, hospitals are accused of abandoning people following treatment. When homeless patients are discharged not to shelters or housing but to the streets, it can be impossible to follow a treatment plan and there is a higher likelihood that they’ll fall ill again.
When I called, they gave me the whole “this stuff doesn’t really matter” treatment. I asked them how, in a world in which the Berkeley City Council had just restricted sidewalk use for the poor, this was in any way possible — except in the most cynical of kleptocracies.
Compassion means empathy and imagining the perspective of others. The idea that “we are all one” may be dismissed as straight out of the 1960s. But that idea stays with me and continues to influence me. This consciousness of love and compassion is one of the pillars of most religions.
The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.
Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”
Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.
The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.