In a recent city study session, some learned of the costly burden on taxpayers with city staff cleaning up trash allegedly left by homeless people. It’s a common problem throughout the country with hundreds of thousands of adults and children experiencing homelessness.
Why not place trash receptacles at interval locations to remind people to appropriately dispose of trash?
Our modern towns provide waste removal services. As a community, we need to do the same for the homeless.
Volunteers have spoken with citizens from local homeless population who are concerned that others are leaving trash in the woods where they find places to sleep. Some housed communities face the same problem of careless or irresponsible neighbors. We are doing our part at Community Compassion Outreach by distributing free construction-grade trash bags to influence an initiative, “Clean Woods and Trails.” But we don’t reach every homeless person.
Trash receptacles would contribute to lower costs and reduced manpower for taxpayers.
Housed citizens are managing trash/human waste; without similar services, the unhoused cannot be expected to do the same. Healthcare and housing are rights of the homeless in America. When services are unavailable, communities are unhealthy.
Homelessness is a result of losing family and community. Housing alone cannot create community. Permanent housing with service facilities affordable to low-to-no income households can end homelessness, as in Austin. It takes a caring community of “us.”
Donna Mae Baukat