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Jailing The Homeless This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Republican Patrick J. Buchanan recently announced his presidential candidacy for 1992. Like any other candidate, he stated many things that would change if he were elected to office. One of the things he mentioned angered numerous people. He feels that the homeless should be put in jails.

I'm appalled at this. At first Buchanan felt that all the homeless should be put in jail, but now he is saying that only the homeless in large cities such as New York and Chicago be placed in jails. He feels that in that sense, the streets "will be given back to the people." Another suggestion he made about the homeless is to force all the homeless to go to shelters or risk being sent to jail. His main reason for all of this was the safety of all people and the elimination of homeless intimidation and panhandling on the streets.

Buchanan is trying to make up for a shortage of shelters by replacing them with jails and that is not the solution to this problem. If he wants to help the homeless, he should provide jobs for them, since most employers will not hire a homeless person. This would give the homeless a chance to earn their own money and get them back on the right track. Also, he should open up more shelters, and place those in need of help in detox or mental illness hospitals and clinics. This would help the homeless a lot more than placing them in jail.

There is a lot of panhandling on the streets, but that can all be eliminated if the homeless problem is solved in the correct manner. Under no circumstance should a homeless person be put in jail. Homelessness is not a crime, and the homeless should not be treated like criminals - they don't need that. All the homeless need is a chance to make a living and earn their own home. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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