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Public reaction towards propertiless citizens Essay


Every person is under an obligation to take care of themselves including their property. However, if for one reason or another a person is not able to take good care of themselves and or their property, then the government is expected to intervene t o ensure that such individuals are well taken care of so as to avoid social disruption.

Usually when a person commits a petty crime, he or she is arrested and this is generally not considered a violation of the liberty of such a person. Equally, it is only fair that courts allow for the detention and subsequent rehabilitation of hardcore homeless who cannot avail themselves voluntarily for supportive house programs (Ferrel 167).

This argument has always taken stage with different people having different takes on the issue. This discussion seeks to find out the appropriate public reaction towards property less citizens.

In addition, the discussion will further seek to establish whether the liberty of such people is infringed in any way when such people are arrested and detained even when it is for their own good. It is also important to establish whether an individual should be at will to engage in self destructive behaviour which would be costly to the society in a bid to respect the freedom of an individual.

Individual vs Society

In any society, the greater good of the majority of people is always put in consideration first and must always supersede that of an individual.

If allowing an individual to enjoy his rights causes an infringement of the rights of the majority of people in the society then the rights of such an individual may be disregarded (Holcombe and Powell 34).

In furtherance to these individuals who are homeless and will not surrender themselves voluntarily so as to be assisted and benefit from the government housing schemes ought to be arrested and forcefully made to seek help for housing so as to bring social order in the society.

Menace to Society

To begin with, homeless people are a menace in the society. Cities which have been experiencing the problem of having many homeless people thronging the streets are littered and they look unpleasant (Hill 345).

Considering that cities are purposely meant for business and other formal jobs, having homeless people in the streets is deterrent to development and hence the need to take all measures possible to ensure that these people are taken off the streets.


Another issue that is considered when having the homeless people in the streets arrested is the fact that some of the people in the streets are not just homeless people but are gangsters masquerading as homeless.

Such people are dangerous to the society because some get involved in drugs and as a result of addiction, they can get involved in nasty behaviour that could pose a risk to the society. The homeless should therefore be detained in order that the greater good of the society could prevail.

Rights of the homeless

However, while homeless people who have refused to seek help so as to benefit from government housing programs ought to be arrested, reasonable measures must be put in place to ensure that their fundamental rights which are enshrined in the constitution are not violated (Feldman 234).

For instance, if such a person is resisting arrest necessitating the use of force to carry out the arrest, then the force used ought to be reasonable and not excessive.

Such people also need to be made to understand the reason for their arrest and why they must see it to be for their own interest. In case the person being arrested is suffering from mental pr any other health problem, it is important that they are allowed to be attended to by medical practitioners.

Challenges of assisting the homeless

It is always difficult to assist most of the homeless people in the city streets. This is because a great number of them are in the streets by choice. They want to be homeless because their mental faculties are not right and they have shown them that being in the streets is best for them.

However, as rational and level minded people who understand the condition that these people are suffering from, it is only fair to take care of them and sort of think on their behalf and do what they would do if they were in their correct state of mind.

The golden rule of reversibility in this case applies which states that you should do unto others what you would have them do unto you. It is without a doubt that these people need help from the society though they may not be aware of the great need that they have.


As a certain author states, “ time has come that imposition of tough love should be implemented in dealing with hard core homeless as this approach seems to be yielding positive results” (Bellin 87).

While it may appear as though the rights of the homeless living the streets are being infringed through arresting and detention, it is only practical way of ensuring that the greater society’s interests are put first and that the homeless by choice are helped make the right decision of their lives and this is by having the put in housing programs provided by the government.

Works Cited

Bellin, Joshua. Dealing with Hardcore Homeless People. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2005. Print

Feldman, Leonard. Citizens without Shelter: Homelessness, Democracy and Political Exclusion. London: Cornel University Press, 2006. Print

Ferrel, Jeff. Tearing the Streets: Adventures in Urban Anarchy. New York: PalgrAVE Macmillan, 2002. Print

Hill, Raymond. Hungary. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2003. Print

Holcombe, Randall and Powell, Benjamin. Housing America: Building out of a Crisis. California: Transaction Publishers, 2009. Print

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Public reaction towards propertiless citizens'. 13 January.

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