Perhaps those getting fed up with the homeless problem in cities like San Francisco and New York should take a page out of the playbook of Hawaii state representative Tom Brower... not.
Brower recently launched his own one-man, grassroots effort to combat the issue of homelessness in his district of Honolulu by taking a sledgehammer to shopping carts he finds in city parks and on the streets. Illogically, he believes that by disabling abandoned shopping carts and/or returning them to merchants, he will discourage homeless people from pushing their possessions around, or being homeless, or something.
While he hasn't yet ripped a person's shopping cart and possessions out of their hands which would likely be illegal he says that step may be coming next.
He also has a habit, as he recently told a local paper, of playing "tough guy" in dealing with vagrancy on the streets. "If someone is sleeping at night on the bus stop, I don't do anything," he said. "But if they are sleeping during the day, I'll walk up and say, 'Get your ass moving.'"
Oh, this guy's a Democrat, by the way.
This method of "cleaning up" the streets of Honolulu apparently comes after years of frustration in dealing with Hawaii's growing homeless population, which now is about 17,000 by state estimates. (It stands to reason. The weather and all.) Another method, approved by his fellow state legislators over the summer, was the establishment of a $100,000 fund to provide one-way plane tickets off the island to any homeless person that wants one.
Brower's sledgehammer approach has certainly garnered him plenty of attention in the last couple of days after he invited news cameras to follow him on his crusade. Fox News has picked up the story, and so have a host of other national outlets. Great work, Tom. Did they teach you this "proactive" form of social work in school somewhere?