Reward good behavior, don’t squash it

By From page A5 | November 13, 2013


I have no personal “skin-in-the-game” in regards to Hangtown Haven, and therefore I have no bias one way or the other. As an outsider looking in, I see a group of people who are making an honest effort to improve their lives. They aren’t simply looking for handouts like so many in America today … they’re looking for a hand-up. This is an honorable thing that needs to be encouraged, not squashed.

There are far too many handouts occurring in this country and those handouts keep the recipients in bondage with no hope or ambition of bettering their lives. We need to stop rewarding undesirable behavior and start rewarding behaviors that strengthen society and empowers people to take responsibility for their own situation, and take the steps needed to make it better. As a society, we should encourage and enable circumstances for the homeless to take control of their own destiny and make their own lives better — empower them.

It seems to me that Hangtown Haven is exactly this kind of empowerment. They are self-regulating, self-governing and have laid out some basic rules for a healthy community — rules that need to be abided by in order to remain a part of the community. I would venture to guess that the “homeless issues” occurring in Placerville are being caused by people who are outside of the HH community … people who are unwilling to live by the established HH rules. Dismantling HH won’t do a thing to change the issues being caused by these “outsiders,” all it will do is set back the progress made by those trying to lift themselves out of the pit of despair.


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