Homelessness and community.docx

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22 Apr 2012
Homelessness and community
The matrix programme was an attempt to recover the public spaces of the city for the
As long as homeless people remained en camped in the city’s streets, parks and public
squares those places will be cluttered with tents ,dirty sleeping bags,cardboard shelters
and stolen shopping carts contaminated with urine and feaces and drugs
The AAARR argued that such conditions make it very difficult for ordinary citizens
either individually or in families to use those places in the way that they were intended to
be used.
Panhandling and drinking and various forms of disturbed behavior make the urban public
areas not only unpleasant but hostile and potentially dangerous
Therefore the public spaces that used to be available to the whole community are
becoming the preserve for this margins
They also argued that a community has a right to control behavior in its public spaces and
outlaw activities such as drinking, panhandling, sleeping on benches, washing in
fountains, urinating and defecating in public.
Such restrictions they said is not to oppress the homeless or to diminish their liberty but
to reduce annoyance to provide a fair basis on which all citizens could make use of the
public spaces
To make parks and public squares to become once again a healthy focus of the public life
of the community
The AARR argued that communities benefit from public spaces being kept sufficiently
attractive to act as public meeting places and as places where people voluntarily spend
their time.
According to Robert Ellickson a space that all can enter is a space that each is
tempted to abuse
Societies therefore impose the rules of the road for public spaces, rules of proper
street behavior are not an impediment to freedom but a foundation of it.
To be truly public a space must be orderly enough to invite the entry of a large
majority of those who come to it
Just as disruptive forces at a town meeting may lower citizen attendance, chronic
panhandlers, bench squatters and other disorderly people may deter some citizens
from gathering in the agora.
A person perpetrates a chronic street nuisance by persistently acting in a public
space in a manner that violates prevailing community standards of behavior to the
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