Every citizen is entitled to live in safety. Home ownership is not a prerequisite. Whether you own your home, rent one or live in your vehicle, one should be able to be safe. Providing a safe place for those who are homeless is an obligation, just as is providing safety for homeowners. In either case, these are citizens.

Some fear having a place for the homeless to park invites lawless behavior. On the contrary, those living from their cars desire the same as anyone else: a safe place to stay. And being in one place provides the police a more effective and efficient way to provide that safety.

Some say, “Don’t put them in the park. That’s my park. My kids use it.” Well, it’s their park, too. Citizens living in their vehicles are in greater danger from harassment by those opposed to their sleeping in our parks than by drug dealers. Again, being together offers a measure of protection that is better than being alone. Signs stating “This area is under video surveillance” provides another level of protection for them and also for those who believe criminal activity might take place there.

People living in their vehicles don’t do so by choice. Rather, they have no other choice. The easiest thing we can do to help is to offer a place of relative safety. A better thing to do would be to provide all low-income/no-income citizens a job that pays a living wage. Doing that would help us all.