Senator Singer: Time To Sweep The Woods Clean

Word is out, and the community of misfits -approximately 30 residents so far -is growing. They have one thing in common: They want to be left alone. They don’t want to be pestered to get into public housing. They don’t want to deal with paperwork and regulations. They don’t want to be nagged to get off drugs or alcohol. They don’t want counseling of any kind. Simply, they don’t want to play by any rules. The tent city residents aren’t recession homeless. They are chronically homeless people with mental health and addiction issues who fell through the cracks years ago. Steven Brigham, a nondenominational minister, serves as their enabler and mayor of their tent city. “Shouldn’t there be some place for people who don’t fit into the system?” he asks. That is the nagging question surrounding the tent cities that are popping up across America: How do we help those who don’t want help? There is public shelter for those who want it. Government-subsidized programs will provide training for jobs. Rehabilitation is available to get clean. But what if they don’t want the help because of the strings attached? In America, we live by rules. It’s the reason there are red lights and yield signs, voting and drinking ages, driver’s licenses and property deeds, prisons and gun licenses. Lakewood mayor Robert Singer has been patient, but now it’s time to sweep the woods clean, before drug dealers or other criminal elements take over and before a squatter sets his tent on fire, as has happened in other makeshift campsites nearby as recently as Friday, as reported here and here on The Lakewood Scoop. Why isn’t the government taking care of them? Because taxpayers have decided how they want their money spent on the needy: Those who live on the dole can’t be addicts or criminals. They must try to find work. All reasonable requests. Compassion often comes with rules. NJ/TLS.

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  1. Throw out that anti-semite Steve Brigham and get those homeless people to lead productive lives. Robert Singer is not my favorite person, but he has it right this time. These people have no incentive to get better if they live there. Is the systme perfect? Far from it. However, this excarbates the problem.

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