[NEWS] Most Cities Evict Their Homeless Before Big Events. Philly Is Trying Something New.
This week, tens of thousands of people will converge on Philadelphia to attend the Democratic National Convention. They’ll swarm a city that is home to roughly 670 people currently living without shelter.
In other cities, the potential clash between swelling crowds on the streets and people who may call those streets home has been handled by simply pushing the homeless aside. When San Francisco hosted the Super Bowl in February, it relocated homeless people from particular areas, with some homeless people reporting that their belongings were confiscated, and while it said it would give them slots at a shelter, the shelter already had a huge waiting list. When the Pope came to visit New York City, the city swept nearby homeless encampments and threatened to ticket and arrest anyone who didn’t leave.
Before hosting the Republican National Convention last week, Cleveland, Ohio enacted new restrictions that effectively criminalized being homeless near the convention center. The ACLU successfully challenged the rules on behalf of a homeless advocacy group.
Philadelphia, however, is taking a very different approach.