While most of us are snuggled up tight in our warm, cozy beds each night this is not the case for everyone. All across the United States is a people group who suffers the atrocities of surviving another day on the streets. As winter is now heavy upon us, the homeless population is subjected to more than the dehumanization of having no access to clean clothes, restroom facilities, or showers, but also freezing temperatures. Living in the cold, surviving another night without shelter and adequate warmth can cause desperation. For one man, desperation was enough to drive him to commit a crime. For what reason you ask, simply to be placed in jail where he could get warm. In the richest country in the world this is the heartbreaking reality for many people.
This homeless Mississippi man decided he had a plan to survive the recent drop in temperature. He began by walking into a police station begging law enforcement to lock him up so he could escape the cold, if even for a short while. However, police were unable to accommodate his request due to liability concerns.
At this point, desperation set in with the man announcing the he would be sure the police had to arrest him. The man’s next act forced law enforcements hand after he committed a criminal act to make sure he would be locked up.
Directly proceeding his meeting with police, he walked across the street to take out his desperation on the courthouse, breaking windows in both the courthouse and sheriff’s office.
The man now faces charges of vandalism.
There is reportedly a severe lack of resources in the community to address the needs of the homeless population. This situation merely highlights just how severe the problem is.
For an otherwise law-abiding citizen to be so cold that they are driven to commit a crime out of sheer desperation speaks volumes. Law enforcement feels that the incident would never have occurred had adequate resources been available such a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated situation. In many states across the country the homeless population continues to grow due to tough economic times, veterans suffering from untreated PTSD/ other battle wounds, and unprecedented numbers of substance abuse addictions.
Hospitals are often a hot spot for those seeking shelter from unbearable conditions. As this problem continues to grow, how many others will turn to crime simply for a hot meal and a warm bed?