The Civil Writer Magazine

Anti-homeless policies are in cities all over the world, technically they are loitering laws and sit-lie ordinances even in my small hometown. My hometown was ingenious with their sit-lie ordinance. They took a 4ft high x 20ft long wall and heightened it to 7ft tall so the homeless couldn't use it to sleep on under a bridge. Hostile architecture is a design strategy that uses spiked architecture to restrict homeless behaviour with city spaces as a form of crime prevention. It often targets good but homeless people who use and rely on public space to live and sleep. Yes, it also help keep the rift raft away.

I have a divided moral conscious about this. I feel only private property should be protected with this architecture but not public property. Public property should be open to the homeless for sleeping and living. Travel around Washington DC and see the homeless occupy Federal buildings properties even if they are chased away in the mornings. Recreational

parks are not always accessible being they are away from soup kitchens and what homeless person do you know owns or drive a car. But the homeless city dwellers should be able to occupy public property for sleeping. To digress a little, the church; if it owns land should be opened to allowing the homeless to sleep.

In 1958 my own mother was homeless in central LA, I was a baby. It was a large church that allowed her and my siblings to sleep there overnight my brother went to school from there. Had the local church and city government been sick and savvy enough to build homeless architectures on properties back then, little children like myself would of had to occupy prized sidewalks with coverings or sleep in the elements like on Skidrow. For full disclosure there are homeless shelters in every city on a first come first serve basis to get a bed so what do you do afterwards if you don't get one. Homeless architecture for private, residential or businesses property I am reluctantly in favor of using homeless architecture but public property I give no pass to. For public property that you and I pay for is just that....public.