Can you fit all your belongings into a 60 gallon trash can?

2 Nov

Luke 12:16-21New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”‘

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

From my experience, I tend to accumulate, and wonder, “Where on earth to put all of my stuff?”, and I do not think that I am alone. Since 1949, homes and doubled and tripled in size, and storage units have sprung up across our nation. Our homeless neighbors are no different. I cannot imagine having to give up everything, except for what would fit in a 60 gal. trash can. Perhaps it would be fair to ask our homeless neighbors to do this, if we also did the same. Until we have enough Permanent Supportive Housing, we need to honestly grapple with how to treat our homeless neighbors with dignity and rights to own possessions.

Studies have shown that Permanent Supportive Housing for the homeless provides a long-term cost effective solution to ending homelessness.Cities across America struggle to respond to the need for increased affordable housing for homeless and low-income populations. In May of 2016, Los Angeles County had the Nations’s largest homeless count, but in order to work towards a real solution of ending homelessness, the city and county must seek long-term solutions. Criminalizing homelessness costs more money in the long-term because it does not provide a way out of the lifestyle.

The city of Los Angeles recently voted that homeless people cannot have more possessions than a 60 gal. bucket. Rather than humanizing the homeless population, and seeking long-term solutions, all but one of the city council voted on this measure. Councilman Cedillo of District 1 opposed law that restricted homeless people’ possessions.

Here is a quote by Councilman Cedillo: “We cannot go on two paths,” Cedillo said. “One path has to be toward building more housing, more shelters, more storage. The other takes us to more criminalization, an ongoing effort that has failed us.” See link below for the full article.

Report on new Los Angeles law restricting the homeless to 60-gallons worth of possessions

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