The New Crime of Eating While Homeless By outlawing dumpster diving, Houston is making life impossible for the most vulnerable.

The New Crime of Eating While Homeless

Jim Hightower

Whenever one of our cities gets a star turn as host of some super-sparkly event, such as a national political gathering or the Super Bowl, its first move is to tidy up — by having the police sweep homeless people into jail, out of town, or under some rug.

But Houston’s tidy-uppers aren’t waiting for a world-class event to rationalize going after homeless down-and-outers. They’ve preemptively outlawed the “crime” of dumpster diving in the Texan city.

SamPac/Flickr

SamPac/Flickr

In March, James Kelly, a 44-year-old Navy veteran, was passing through Houston on his way to connect with family in California. Homeless, destitute, and hungry, he chose to check out the dining delicacies in a trash bin near City Hall. Spotted by police, Kelly was promptly charged with “disturbing the contents of a garbage can in the [central] business district.” Seriously.

“I was just basically looking for something to eat,” he told the Houston Chronicle. But, unbeknownst to both this indigent tourist and the great majority of Houston’s generally generous citizens, an ordinance dating way back to 1942 says that “molesting garbage containers” is illegal.

more

http://otherwords.org/the-new-crime-of-eating-while-homeless/

 

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Comment by KingofthePaupers on May 26, 2013 at 9:53pm

Jct Successful politicians sure have evil souls. Imagine, someone signed their name to this. On record, forever. Har har har har har har. I'd like to watch their judgment when I get to heaven.

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