Albuquerque, New Mexico director of homeless shelters was outraged by homeless advocates when he stated that people shouldn’t give homeless people handouts as it only worsens the problem.
Steve Decker, Heading Home CEO, made the comments via an Instagram post.
“Accessing the right help is the biggest problem we face across the board,” said Decker. Decker wrote that many people who try to help sometimes add to the problem.
“This will be counterintuitive to many people — when you give handouts to people on the streets — whether that be cash, food, water, clothing, blankets or tents — you’re not helping. Many people will not seek out services until they are severely uncomfortable living on the streets,” he said.
Decker concluded that the more we try to assist with hand-outs the worse the problem is.
Decker’s comments were immediately condemned by homeless activists who called for his dismissal. Soon after, the Instagram statement was removed.
“We don’t want to make people so uncomfortable they are sleeping on the ground. I think we can understand it’s not a comfortable lifestyle,” said Monet Silva, the executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.