Stan Heilbrun: Sometimes people need to sleep in their cars
This morning as I was parked waiting for an office to open, I was listening to the NPR news and learned that if I was sitting in my car in a legal parking space, I would be vulnerable to a policeman asking to see my license.
I was baffled. I’m a legal driver. It seems that I was impinging on the rights of nearby residents.
The news continued to say that my car could be towed away and impounded. It could well cost me thousands of dollars to get my car back — far more than the value of my vehicle. Little by little I realized that this was part of a war against homeless people who sleep in their car and therefore are impinging upon the rights of local residents. Whatever happened to “liberty and justice for all?”
Subsequently I read a magazine article regarding the growing rate of unemployment and the huge number of people who can no longer afford their rent. I also have an elderly aunt whose husband had died and she couldn’t continue paying off the mortgage. I, myself, am 78 years old. My SSI is insufficient to continue paying today’s high rents (due to the shortage of available apartments). There are, of course, many others in a similar situation. There was a population explosion after World War II.
I frequently see people sleeping in their cars late at night. Is it right to hassle them?
It seems as if there’s a war against the homeless.
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