By David Kelly
Major Democrat-run cities across the nation have seen a dramatic increase the last few years in homeless encampments on their streets, in their parks and underpasses, and on vacant lots. The homeless have, in these cities, chased away businesses and residents alike, as with the homeless comes increased crime, illegal drug use, and vast array of people suffering serious mental illnesses.
The nation’s capital, Washington D.C., is not immune from the rapid visible increase of homeless people and encampments, or tent cities. The tent cities are scattered throughout the district, both on federal land, where unauthorized camping is technically prohibited, and in city parks, roadway underpasses, and empty lots, where it is allowed on all but private property.
In fact, as reported recently by The New York Post, “the number of tent cities exploded. The district tallied 130 encampments in November 2021 — a 40% increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.” The Post continued,
A tour by The Post of the district’s major tourist areas this week found at least 35 vagrants in residence at a National Park Service site two blocks from the White House; more than 20 in the green spaces surrounding the State Department complex; and five across the street from the infamous Watergate Hotel. And these sites accounted for less than 5 percent of the estimated 120 tent cities in Washington D.C.
There was a time in the not-so-distant past where vagrants and homeless people would be seen here and there, but usually only in skid-row areas of the city. Now the homeless are everywhere, and even setting up camps in wealthy suburbs. But how can our nation have such a visible homeless population?
Last week in Oregon, President Biden stated, “Our economy is strong as hell” in response to a reporter’s question on Americans suffering financially due to inflation. He closed his comments about the strength of the dollar and America’s inflation in his typical, finger pointing leadership style, saying, “It’s worldwide inflation that’s consequential.” But Biden either is blind or unwilling to see the homeless encampments that should not exist in a strong economy, especially in the wealthy United States.
Visitors and foreign tourists to Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s top tourist attractions, are stunned by the scenes of destitution they see around every corner.
The Post article shared, “’The land of milk and honey’ — it means that in America you don’t lack anything,” said Elvis Shu, 39, a first-time visitor from Cameroon. “I know people don’t get hungry here, so I’m surprised indeed.”
Moti, 48, a vacationer from Israel, said, “We didn’t expect to see the homeless here near the White House.” “I thought it was a rich city,” added his wife, Orli, 54. “It’s a Democrat here in the White House, and the Democrats are more socialist, right?”
“I’m just in shock,” said Devin McCants, 28, a tourist from Atlanta. “There are tents everywhere here.… It’s crazy.”
Jersey City, New Jersey, resident Rachel Greene, 28, was sympathetic — to a point. “These people, they got nowhere to go,” she said. “But it’s kind of like, ‘Damn, you gotta be homeless right here? You couldn’t be homeless like two miles that way where I don’t have to see you and kids don’t have to see you?’”
The Post interviewed some of the resident campers and found that most are well-fed and receive plenty of handouts. One homeless man, Daniel Kingery, pitched his tent in historic McPherson Square more than two years ago.
“Bleeding hearts have no brains, unfortunately,” Kingery told the Post. “There’s so much [donated] food coming into this park, there’s not enough people to eat it. So they’ll give it to the birds or throw it away.”
Kingery’s tent is a stone’s throw from the bedroom of the president. He lives with dozens of other homeless who “have transformed the one-block-square green space — crowned by a grand equestrian statue of Union Civil War hero Gen. James B. McPherson — into a shantytown where residents’ generators hum and laundry flutters from fences and tree branches.”
It’s organizations and people who want to help the homeless that have made it so much easier for them to stay right where they are, in the parks and public places throughout the city. As these tent cities have grown, so too have the dangers. “The people that are accumulating here tend to be a little more violent and a little more openly hostile to the tourists,” Kingery said.
Washington, D.C., has a left-leaning city government, run entirely by Democrats, and has purportedly made fighting homelessness a top priority, spending at least $100 million a year on the Homeward DC plan since 2016.
The U.S. Park Service has cleared out encampments, but need to enforce the agency’s rules and prevent the encampments from coming back once vacated. Residents tired of the scourge of these encampments sent a letter complaining, “There is ample evidence that these encampments are a danger to the community, bringing with them excess refuse, human excrement and other bodily fluids, heated domestic disputes, drug abuse, and an inability to enjoy resources and green space under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.”
It seems that even with the money spent and efforts to clear D.C. of the homeless encampment problem, nothing is working.
Workers at restaurants and other businesses near the encampments suffer as well, saying the camps have become a dangerous burden.
“We have homeless people on drugs come in here all the time,” said Hailey Yokley, 17, a manager at a Joe & The Juice coffee shop in McPherson Square. “They come in screaming and it scares people.”
Shane Carnahan, 32, a bartender at the nearby Georgia Brown’s restaurant, has called police multiple times to deal with troublesome tent-city residents. “They’ll come over here and make a little scene,” he said. “Sometimes they come in crazy and shaking their ass and we have to call the cops.”
Some Republicans in Congress added their frustration with the homeless encampments, telling the Post:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) who sits on the congressional committee that oversees the National Park Service, vowed that change is on the horizon — provided the GOP takes control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.
“It goes a bit back to Rudy Giuliani’s ‘no broken widows’ — you enforce the law,” Gohmert said. “We are not going to let them keep ruining everybody’s enjoyment of our park system just because they refuse to enforce the law.
“This beautiful park that was designed for people’s enjoyment, and you can take it over and just turn it to excrement,” he added. “They’re turning Washington into another San Francisco. The Democrat thinking is we just let people degenerate.”
“Democrat-run cities are being driven into the ground and Washington, DC is no different,” said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis [R-N.Y.]. “Our nation’s capital is one of our main tourist attractions and it’s become embarrassing … but no one from the Mayor to the President seems to care.”
Representative Malliotakis is right. The mayor, President Biden, and Democratic socialist policies have quickly turned our cities into homeless encampment side shows. They have made Washington, D.C., living proof that socialism in America, including rampant homelessness, is nothing more than a terminal experiment that our nation must reject forever.