September 15, 2018 Feature

The Role of Planning and Law in Solving Homelessness

By Wendie L. Kellington

The Problem

We all share a goal to get the homeless off the streets, off freeway underpasses, parks, bikeways, busses, and subways and into lawful situations. Neither law nor planning alone can solve the curse of homelessness. But law and planning can ease the rules, develop new ones, and provide places where the homeless are allowed to exist. After all, community design has planned for nearly everything else—commerce, industry, traditional housing, day cares, schools, sidewalks, and parking stalls for people in wheelchairs, dog parks for people with dogs, day and night parking places for bikes and cars, and jails for criminals. Cities with thousands of homeless people are capable of planning for the existence of their vast unhoused.

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