I'm not sure if this is a sign of how desperate the nation's cities are for money, or just a complete lack of compassion and morality.
New York City is set to begin charging rent to the "working homeless" to stay in shelters, reports the NY Daily News.
Mayor Bloomberg decided to begin enforcing the 1997 law that states New York can charge rent to homeless citizens "who can afford it," which allows the city to take up to 44% of their income in the first year...
Shelter residents able to pay rent, however, only amounts to about 15 percent of that population, leaving many to wonder what the point is.. these people may never be able to dig their way out of poverty if they are penalized at such a difficult time in their lives.
Officials admit the move is mostly based on "principle" as rent funds gathered will not impact the city's budget in any significant way.
"Open-ended handouts, we know, don't work," Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs said. "This is not a moneymaker. We're not doing this to close budget gaps. It's really the principles ... involved."
Mayor Bloomberg defends the action as legal and necessary: "Everybody else is doing it, so we're going to do it."
Most people understand - if you don't have money, you can't pay money, and wouldn't be homeless in the first place! And worse, you are actually paying to sleep on a bunk or cot in a room full of strangers, and share communal bathrooms.
The toll-booth economy has trickled all the way down.