The Solution to Homelessness Is Not Death

Image by Jon Tyson.

Richard R. Troxell is the Moses of homelessness. He's been leading his people toward the promised land for many decades. His people are America's homeless, a fluctuating group most people work hard to avoid. Troxell comes to see them clearly through street contact and annual surveys, always deepening his understanding of homelessness even as municipalities deepen their never-ending efforts to force the homeless to go away.

The problem with the homeless is they don't have anywhere to go. Shoo them out of doorways and they move to the parks. Chase them from the parks and they move to the freeways. Give them bus tickets to other towns and those towns try to send them right back. Give them housing? Don't be ridiculous; this is America!

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Steve O’Keefe is the author of several books, most recently Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers, from New World Library, based on over 250 interviews. He is the former editorial director for Loompanics Unlimited.

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