Unsafe Streets is working to improve public safety and quality of life by removing homeless drug addicts from public spaces, especially sidewalks, public transportation, parks, and libraries. We raise awareness about the dangers that the homeless who are severely drug addicted and mentally ill pose to themselves and their communities. We demand that city and state leaders fix this crisis.
IT'S TIME TO RECLAIM OUR PUBLIC SPACES FROM HOMELESS DRUG ADDICTS
America's cities are overrun with severely mentally ill and drug-addicted homeless men who are a danger to themselves, others, and to quality of life in their communities. The mainstream media refuses to cover this crisis and politicians stand by and act helpless to fix the problem. It’s time to shine a light on this scandal and pressure city and state leaders to do something about it.
In many cities, homeless drug addicts have been allowed to dominate public spaces: sidewalks, parks, public transportation, and libraries. This trend makes these places unwelcoming and unsafe. Some of these addicts are violent and target those who are the least able to fight back; they often victimize the elderly, women, and even children.
Unsafe Streets is committed to 1) documenting the impact of homeless addicts on our cities, and 2) supporting communities and victims in the fight to reclaim public spaces.
WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE
Cities must get homeless addicts off the street for their own health and well-being, the safety of others, and to reclaim public spaces for their intended users. Unsafe Streets proposes three core reforms.
It is not appropriate for anyone to sleep on the street or hang around aimlessly in parks and on sidewalks all day, every day. Everyone needs a suitable place where they can sleep, eat, use the bathroom, and stay when they have nowhere else to go.
Cities must provide adequate capacity at shelters, keep those shelters open 24/7, and require the homeless to stay in those shelters. It is not responsible to close shelters during the day and send addicts out onto the streets where they panhandle, use drugs, and disturb public parks, libraries, and public transportation.
A wide range of facilities could be used to shelter the people currently living on the streets: mental hospitals, group homes, homeless shelters, and jails when appropriate.
When someone's mental illness or addiction has deteriorated to the point that they are living on the streets, they are gravely unwell and in no condition to make medical decisions for themselves. This is especially true for anyone whose condition has led them to break quality-of life-laws like public defecation or public drug use, and even more the case for those committing crimes like theft or assault.
These individuals must be compelled into appropriate treatment for their diseases.
Serious mental illness and addiction are chronic diseases requiring lifelong treatment and management. When someone is so severely unwell that they end up on the streets, they need long-term state supervision, such as guardianship or parole.
This supervision would ensure a person continues to follow their treatment plan, continues to stay sheltered, and does not slide back into living on the street, breaking quality-of-life laws, or committing serious property or violent crimes.
ARE THESE REFORMS TOO HARSH?
Many of those living on the streets refuse offers of shelter and treatment. For these people, we must fully enforce laws against public camping, public drug use, public defecation, theft, and assault as compulsory entry points into shelter, treatment, and long-term supervision.
Some may argue that these policies are inhumane. But, on the contrary, failing to change the status quo is extremely harmful to the homeless. Living on the streets without treatment or supervision has terrible consequences for these gravely ill individuals, including:
Risk of overdose
Risk of illness or death from drug abuse, malnutrition, exposure, poor hygiene, and infectious diseases
Risk of injury from traffic and other accidents while impaired
Threat of violence, including sexual violence, from other addicts, drug dealers, and opportunistic criminals who take advantage of the chaotic environment on the streets
The inability to participate in many meaningful aspects of life, including family relationships, productive work, religious worship and spiritual pursuits, and hobbies
SUPPORT UNSAFE STREETS
We are seeking donations to fund original reporting on the impact of homeless addicts on public spaces, and to develop advocacy tools that residents can use to pressure leaders in their communities to act. We are currently in the process of applying for tax-exempt status. In the meantime, please consider donating to our crowdfunding campaign.
LIVES CUT SHORT
Allowing the seriously mentally ill and drug-addicted to live on the streets without treatment or supervision threatens public safety. The failure of state and local leaders to address this crisis has cost lives. These are the faces of some of those brutally and senselessly murdered by homeless addicts.
Share your Story
Have you or a loved one been threatened or harmed by homeless drug addicts in your community? Do you have a story to share about the degradation of public spaces like parks, libraries, and beaches that can no longer be enjoyed?
Please email us at email@example.com or contact us using the form.