Homelessness Is Not A Crime! (2024)

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The United States Supreme Court’s decision to essentially make homelessness illegal is unconscionable. Not having a home is not a crime! Yet after the Supreme court ruled that it was constitutional to make it illegal to sleep in public spaces, countless towns and cities are sure to follow suit in the United States and make it illegal to sleep in public spaces. (Illegal to sleep!). Sleep is a basic necessity and if you don’t have a home, you have no choice but to sleep in a public space.

Beyond the morals or ethics of this it has far reaching consequences for #MECFS and #LongCovid patients. How many ME/CFS/Long Covid patients have dipped into homelessness at some point for days, months, years or have been stuck that way? Way more than we wish to imagine based on their representation on X/twitter/facebook/instagram. Most of these patients are not on social media. When you lose everything, you lose social media too. And most of the patients who are worst off are either not diagnosed and so are not represented on social media or are not able or interested in a social media presence.

See my post called "The True Horror of ME/CFS" for a more detailed analysis of the true scope of the damage ME/CFS and Long Covid does to people’s lives:

Jail is not a suitable place for ME/CFS/Long Covid patients! How have we come to this place America? It would be cheaper to pay for housing programs for homeless people than to pay to imprison them, and it would also be so much better for their lives and their prospects of getting back on their feet in the future and getting housing again. And it would be cheaper to pay for ME/CFS/Long Covid research and proper ME/CFS/Long Covid care centers than it would be to pay to imprison patients who have a disease that has taken so much from them they cannot keep their homes!

It is not as if there is an abundance of un-owned land for homeless people to flock to outside city centers where they could just farm peacefully with the gnomes and the hobbits! Where are homeless people supposed to go when shelters fill up? And homeless ME/CFS/Long Covid patients likely do not have the energy to keep up with the gnomes and hobbits anyways. 😊. Farming on free open land is not an option like it was in the 1800’s in America for those healthy enough to have that kind of energy. You can’t farm land owned by someone else.

This is outrageous, immoral, and most certainly "cruel and unusual punishment" (unconstitutional in the constitution of the United Sates of America)

If someone loses their home, the chances of them regaining any kind of normal life after being imprisoned are so much lower than their chances of getting back on their feet after living in the streets or in a car or better yet a homeless shelter or ME/CFS/Long Covid care facility for a period of time. Our prison system is designed to keep people incarcerated, it is generally not rehabilitating and only leads to more imprisonment. Once you enter the system of incarceration in the United States it can be hard to get out of it. You become a "criminal" and everything you do is seen through that lens. So incarcerated people are often judged unfairly and then kept in prison without proper justification.

And the health of an ME/CFS/Long Covid patient even living on the streets is going to be so much better than in jail, where there are enforced rules requiring activity and exposure to all kinds of not only stimulus but also terrifying horrors and threats to your life; And absolutely no sympathy or understanding about an energy limiting illness like ME/CFS/Long Covid with sensory sensitivity, PEM, and a myriad of other symptoms that even most doctors are clueless about, let alone prison guards.

How many ME/CFS/Long Covid patients will now wind up in prison, beaten for the symptoms of an illness?

This is a shameful and disgraceful act by America. Shame on the Supreme Court!

We need to take care of those who are the worst off, not throw them in jail for having bad luck. And we need to take care of those with chronic illness and disability, not throw them in jail! Who is next on the list?

This is not the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany in 1940! We are talking about the United States in 2024!

"Leading The Free World" starts right here, with the homeless, the chronically sick, and the disabled, who cannot afford a place to live.

Food, water and shelter are basic necessities, not privileges for the lucky few.

#GetaGripAmerica #homelessnessISnotAcrime

Part 2:

There is something at the core of this that is very wrong about the way we see each other. A lack of compassion and empathy. And it is the core of why people are able to ignore ME/CFS and Long Covid. Everyone wants to believe that "good things happen to good people", it is the universal religion of humanity, even atheists usually believe in the myth of "good things happen to good people". Because when you are lucky and good things have happened to you, it feels good to take credit for them by thinking that you deserved them because of who you are.

There’s a kind of mental high in that.

And people will go to extraordinary lengths to hold on to this high.

When I lost all of my friends to prejudice about ME/CFS they fundamentally thought we were somehow different from each other, that I was sick because of how I lived my life, or who I was as a person, or the choices I had made in my life. But the truth is that I got sick because I just was unlucky, or if you believe in Karma, because of things I did in past lives.

When we see laws making it illegal to sleep in public spaces, it shows just how confident the public is that they will never become homeless themselves and wind up in that situation, because they think they are better than homeless people. But the truth is that most people who have homes are just more fortunate, they have had lucky childhoods and lucky upbringings and lucky educations and lucky encounters that have led to lucky jobs, etc. A lot of luck. A lot of times just one thing in this lucky past going the other direction could change a person’s life from having a home to being homeless. And a huge number of people are just one bit of bad luck in the future away from losing their homes; An accident that costs a huge amount of money and is not covered by insurance, an illness like ME/CFS/Long Covid that prevents them from working, a mental illness, losing a job, even a job that seems very secure, and not being able to find a new one. Etc.

And the same thinking applies to ME/CFS/Long Covid patients. People cannot come to terms with the idea that ME/CFS/Long Covid could happen to them. It is scary and it defies the "good things happen to good people" religion. So a lot of the public, subtly and not so subtly believe they will never get ME/CFS or Long Covid. They think they are better than people who get ME/CFS or Long Covid and that they deserve it because of how they live or who they are or the choices they have made.

This religion will never die unfortunately, it is ingrained in us as humans.

But we can learn to be more compassionate. And understanding why people can be so cruel and inhumane towards each other can help us cope with being treated so poorly. If we realize that it is really not about us. It is about a delusional way of thinking, someone grasping at an idea that makes them feel good, safe and secure about themselves, then it can help us externalize the brutality of their actions and the suffering it inflicts on us.

What is happening here in America to the less fortunate is cruel and unusual punishment. Which is unconstitutional.

We need to realize that we are all the same. We are not better than anyone else. If it is possible for someone to live a certain way, it is possible for us to live that way as well. Life is precious and so delicate. We can go from living the dream to a living nightmare in moments and that nightmare could never end.

So for ME/CFS/Long Covid patients, I think it’s helpful to look at acts of cruelty and inhumanity with some understanding of what is often the underlying mechanism behind it. We need compassion from healthy people to help us, but we also need to have compassion and understanding and empathy or why healthy people treat us the way they do so we can deal with it in a way that is better for our mental health.

And for those who are not sick or homeless, please realize how lucky you are and how close you are from that luck running out. This country is not defined by the well to do lucky ones, but by the least fortunate.

Love,
Whitney

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Homelessness Is Not A Crime! (2024)
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