New York Law Says All Or Nothing
City officials have ordered 22 New York churches to stop providing beds to homeless people.Wonder how long before they decide this would be good policy to take toward soup kitchens, too? “I can only afford to feed you one day a week, but for the rest of the week there’s other places – no, wait. I’m not allowed to feed you today because I can’t afford to feed you tomorrow. No soup for you. Aren’t you glad the city’s looking out for your best interests?”
With temperatures well below freezing early Saturday, the churches must obey a city rule requiring faith-based shelters to be open at least five days a week -- or not at all.
You know how charities will request that people make even small donations, on the grounds that “every little bit helps?” New York law forbids this. Churches can’t even combine for tag-team partnerships offering five or more days between them: “All right, Hope Episcopal will take people in on Sundays and Thursdays, and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays they can go to St. Bernadette’s. Still leaves Wednesday and Saturday open, though. I wonder what the Methodists are doing?”
Still, don’t get the impression that New York’s homelessness bureaucrats intend to harm the people they’re paid to help:
"We really don't want people sleeping on the streets, on grates, on church steps. We want people sleeping in beds," said Homeless Commissioner Robert Hess.And the city does have shelters of its own:
The Department of Homeless Services said the city offers other shelters with the capacity to accept all those who have been sleeping in the churches.Homeless people tend to avoid these public shelters because they’re dangerous crime dens. So you could say the New York Department of Homeless Services is being fiscally responsible: outlawing the competition is surely cheaper than competing with it.