1. Homelessness and attendant problems continue to increase, and no amount of
enforcement has been able to stem this trend.
2. Public and private funds are increasingly inadequate.
3. No current effort has been effective in slowing the growth of these problems.
A Potential Avenue of Solution
1. Evaluate proposal-based exceptions to civic laws pertaining to homelessness.
2. Allow discretionary authority on the part of code enforcement to forgo
action against benign solutions.
3. There are individuals and groups within most towns with the compassion and
resources to greatly improve the living conditions of individuals or
small groups of homeless people – albeit at a small fraction of
4. This would allow creative experimentation of alternatives to the proven
failures of existing efforts. Without such an avenue, there is no reason
for most people to consider ways of solving these problems.
5. Any decrease in the number of people living in the streets would free up
civic resources to address those remaining. Success in this achievable step
could be multiplied on a small unit basis to produce a far broader impact.
6. One potential drawback ofthis approach would be the development of a
new poverty strata within our society. Ongoing research and experimentation
would be required to ensure that it was only a transitional step. In any case
even this would be far superior to the abject filth, crime, and hopelessness
among the existing homeless.
Example Proposal Summary
Produce a transitional lifestyle that escapes the primary negatives of
homelessness as we know it.
1. The residents are protected from danger by a fence they can lock.
2. Population is limited to 3 to 5 people.
3. Sanitation, bathing,and a clean environment protect their health.
4. Weatherproof shelters protect from exposure.
5. Cost is less than 10% of traditional mainstream living.
6. A limited cubic feet of storage per-person eliminates hoarding.
A clean stable lifestyle makes employment or education possible.
1. Authority is external.
2. Litter and substance abuse would not be tolerated.
3. A legal understanding includes eviction without cause or notice.
4. Any reasonable complaint may close the project.
5. Weekly service hours may be assessed for those unemployed.
6. Restrictions would apply to sights, sounds, and smells.
7. Civic liaison would be under the purview of code enforcement.
1. Single residence: This would primarily target a tightly supervised backyard
facility for a friend or family member the property owner was willing to help.
It might also be considered as a private addition to a larger micro-community.
2. Population of three to five: A small-scale community that could exist either
on public or private property. Since the structures would be temporary or
portable, a gate to be locked by the residents would would be essential to
3. Supervised micro-community: This would require a responsible staff person
on-site. It could involve rotating shifts or an accountable permanent
resident. The facilities would begin with the single residence package for
the staff, but would expand to any appropriate level.
Next Actions (Pending civic interest)
Create a list of technical amenities required for each of the three above-mentioned templates. Include costs and approximate man-hours.
Locate one or more benefactors (individuals or groups) who would be willing to sponsor a project.
Secure the availability of one or more suitable sites.
Screen and select initial occupancy candidates.
Present details to the cognizant civic office.
Pending civic approval:
Assemble and install hardware on site.
Hold open house for those interested and involved
Occupy and begin test.