Homeless people concern safety of residents
City public safety should step up to protect students
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 17:10
According to the University of Delaware Police Department, there has been an increase in the amount of students coming in contact with Newark’s homeless population. As the colder months are on the horizon, students should brace themselves to see an increase of homeless people wandering libraries and other public buildings.
Although many university students are sympathetic toward homeless people and willing to participate in volunteer efforts, many find the amount of homeless people occupying Newark to be surprising. Often times, many homeless people crowd around restaurants and shops on Main Street, sometimes interacting with students. Though not much action can be done to control where homeless people go during the day, the Newark community offers a slew of shelters in a close proximity to the university.
St. John’s Evangelical and Newark Methodist churches in Newark offer resources for the homeless, along with other Newark-based Friendship Houses like the Emmaus House on Continental Avenue. These shelters are in walking-distance from Newark’s downtown area, making them all the more accessible for the homeless who cannot afford transportation.
This is an area that the Newark Police Department can improve on: Enforcing that the homeless occupy the shelters throughout the nights. Newark Public Safety needs to ensure the utmost safety of its students, and an area of concern includes the crowds of homeless people on Main Street. Most cities offer an ultimatum or a fine for homeless people who refuse to take advantage of their shelters. The Newark Police Department should especially be alert of crime related to homeless people to protect the student body. It is not to say that students are insensitive to the homeless people within the university parameters, but that there have been reports of dangerous encounters that make most students uncomfortable.