Asheville, North Carolina is breaking records – though unfortunately not in a good way. Recently, trash sweeps of the city’s homeless camps collected a disturbing amount of trash, and everyone is appalled by the amount of litter in these encampments. This exposure has stunned the entire country
Asheville, North Carolina’s recent removal of 120,000 pounds of trash from homeless camps is a stark reminder that the homeless crisis facing our country is far more serious than we have previously acknowledged. The sheer amount of waste gathered in this effort shines a light on an urgent need for action nationally – to provide housing and support services to those who suffer without them. We must work together to address this issue head-on before it spirals out of control and leaves countless homeless people comfortable on our streets.
Daily caller reports, according to the Asheville Police Department (APD), more than 120,000 pounds of trash were removed from two homeless camps in Asheville, North Carolina, on Jan. 6.
According to an APD Facebook post, NCDOT crews along with eight staff members, two bulldozers, and four dump trucks took part in the day-long cleanup.
APD wrote in a Facebook post that both homeless camps were on NCDOT property when the cleanup took place.
Following repeated notifications over a two-week period by APD Community Engagement Officers, the APD reported the camps were vacant by the time NCDOT crews arrived. As part of the notifications, camp residents were also given the opportunity to remove their belongings from the camp.
The number of homeless people in the U.S. hit an eight-year high in 2022 as cities across the country – including New York City and Los Angeles, where the mayor promised to institute a state of emergency – struggle to curb the phenomenon.
Reports from the Department of Housing and Urban Development claim single individuals and chronically homeless individuals accounted for the majority of the increase, with single individuals increasing by 3.1% and chronically homeless individuals increasing by 16% between 2020 and 2022. Homelessness as a whole continues to rise, but the number of homeless veterans decreased by 11%, families with children declined by 6%, and people under 25 declined by 12%.
According to Livability’s annual list of the top 100 best places in America to live in 2022, Asheville placed 19th.
Asheville is exemplary in its efforts to address and resolve its homelessness problem. It has taken bold steps towards curbing the issue, rather than let it fester and become a greater burden for the citizens of their city. All other states should look to these aggressive yet common sense policies as a model for how to tackle this homelessness problem head on. If we give in and ‘enable’ homelessness to thrive, then our country will be following the same trajectory as California—which would bring only further chaos. Third world states like California have set an excellent example on what not to do.
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