We are in a world where poverty still prevails. There are too many people struggling for their lives in harsh conditions and it seems that their numbers are increasing day by day. Most people under the poverty line are not able to afford a vehicle but those who do have one still have to endure suffering as a result of not being able to fulfill their basic needs. Shelter is crucial and one of the needs that fall into the basic human rights along with food, water and clothing. Shelter is a source of security and a place to rest. Many people are not able to afford living in houses and have chosen to live in their vehicle instead.
Homeless people living in campervans have led to a lot of controversy and is an issue that has given birth to different kinds of measures. In some places positive steps are being tried out while in other places banning has been chosen as the answer. While banning homeless people to sleep in certain places resolves the security problem for that particular day or night, it is not the complete solution. Employment opportunity, cheaper housing and micro payment plans might be some of the areas that should be looked into to stop the ever growing flow of homeless people.
An example of a positive way to deal with poverty and homeless people living in campervans can be seen in the efforts of San Antonio, Virginia, Anchorage along with other American cities who have installed converted parking meters. They have done this to collect donations for homeless service organizations. This measure promotes the aid of the homeless but eliminates the direct transfer of money to the homeless to avoid drug and alcohol abuse.
The method is not perfect as the money might not be all that the homeless need. Some times homelessness leads to isolation which has ill effects on a person. Isolation may lead to depression and further drug or alcohol abuse so human contact can help with the bad effects of social isolation. In places like San Antonio and Virginia “homeless meters” raise funds for the Homeless people living in campervans while community members go out and communicate with them to give them a sense of communal inclusiveness.
A less supportive line of action can be seen in Venice CA where in 2010 sleeping in RV’s was completely banned. This was done after a few cases of inappropriate waste disposal by homeless people living in campervans. As a result the homeless were put in a tough position of sleeping on the ground but still stay near the city where services are available and close by or moving away from the banned zone. It goes too far when a person is forced to leave the only form of shelter he or she has just because some people did not dump their waste properly.
People who support the ban say that homeless people living in campervans near the neighborhood lead to littering, drug sales and other illegal activity. That may be true in some cases but that does not mean one has to punish each and every homeless person. There are some great hard working human beings out there who are worth a lot but are down on luck. They deserve a chance at a healthy life just like any one else.
Homeless people living in campervans are people to. Each case is unique where some can be saved with the help of people from society. If people do not reach forward the bright ones may get lost in the darkness. Ignoring or casting out homeless leads to isolation and can cause psychological problems in the future that society does not want to see. Driving out the homeless is like dumping your problems somewhere else. They are not at all helped out in anyway by the ban and the problem stays unresolved. We have to find ways to make them part of the community again by rehabilitating them and giving them opportunity.