Community safety and justice
Can homelessness be solved using the criminal justice system?
The only way in which the criminal justice system can be helpful in addressing homelessness is if we finally pursue criminal accountability of banks, bankers, and others responsible for predatory lending and sub-prime loans, or perhaps the CIA officials responsible for running drugs into U.S. cities in the 90s and contriving a violent drug trade that prompted the militarization of police and metastasis of mass incarceration.
In sharp contrast, our contemporary model of criminalizing poverty both exacerbates homelessness and also degrades the legitimacy of our legal system.
If we want to address homelessness, we need to provide affordable, long-term housing. We need. We need access to mental health services (yet another way in which Medicare for All offers positive synergies as its benefits intersect other policy areas),, job opportunities,, and access to resources like peer counseling and social workers.