Homeless? Have We Got A Solution For You! (The Usual One)

a historic line drawing of a con man being carried on a fence rail slung between two shoulders, which fellow citizens parade alongside

Why bother to report yet again about riding people who are homeless out of town on a rail? After all, somewhere at this very moment an official is probably approving transportation for a person who is homeless to . . . anywhere but here.

A faint interest in North America to the particular article linked below might have to do with using a train ticket, rather than a bus ticket, to dump an individual homeless problem in some other back yard.

In North America, passenger travel by train has become a scarce, expensive, nostalgic ‘bucket list’ adventure, rather than a low cost means of community eviction.1

So what is the point of this post? Simply to note that a country’s care of their unfortunate homeless citizens is completely inadequate when it is left to local governments determined to manage their spending by sending the problem elsewhere.

Within a nation, homelessness should, and indeed does, have no boundaries — no linkage to local government attitudes, wealth, or lack of it. COVID-19 has shown that a national government can rapidly ensure action on what, left to the devices of local governments, becomes a never-ending effort to pass the buck.

Admittedly, over a short period of time, the UK government’s unprecedented order2 to move its entire homeless population to housing is 10% short of ‘entire.’3 Still, COVID-19 and the UK’s temporary solution shows a way to end homelessness, one that is most profoundly not demonstrated by this story in the Barking and Dagenham Post: Homeless Families Given Train Fare To Move Out Of Borough


  1. Note that the British use of a rail ticket adds an ironic new dimension to ‘TRAVELLING BY RAIL.’
  2. See: COVID-19 Response: How To Make It So
  3. See for example: Government Will Protect Your Homes When . . . What? Evicted Already?


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