Many years ago, (yah, I'm old) when I was just starting as a cop, it was against the law to be homeless and living on the street. The law, which is defunct, was called vagrancy. The reason for arrest was based on the fact that "the person had no visible means of support." In fact when I was in training, this was my first arrest. We held the person and gave them food and drink. Then they went in front of the judge and were told to leave town. The health department gave them a few dollars before they left. Then it was someone else's problem. If they didn't follow the court orders and were found in town a second time they were taken back to court and sentenced to time in the County House of Correction. Many people really wanted to go there because they had a place to sleep out of the weather and got three meals a day. So, repeat offenders was common. A wasn't a perfect system, but that's how it was in the old days. Now, at least in this part of the country, they live in the City Parks full-time and when it gets to freezing weather the shelters open up for those in need. Some parks are full of homeless people. Is the system any better or just different? Joe
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