An ordinance was recently passed in Pensacola, Fla., that makes it illegal for homeless people to cover themselves with blankets or newspapers, and with the recent polar vortex slamming the country, many people are outraged that homeless people in the city are being forced to freeze in the extreme temperatures.
As noted by Forward Progressive, the “camping ordinance” was passed just this past summer, and now that winter has hit, many are noting how extreme and cruel this ordinance is towards people living on the streets.
Just last month, locals asked Pensacola City Council to repeal sections of the camping ordinance that negatively affected homeless people. Jeremy Bosso was one of those who stood up and pleaded with the council to look at the issue from a humanitarian standpoint.
“Good evening, City Council,” said Bosso in his appeal. "I just wanted to bring to your attention, WEAR ABC News posted a sort of public service announcement, if you will, just reminding people with this cute little meme on their Facebook page. It’s a cute little dog, and it says, ‘If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Please bring your pets inside. Please share to get out this message.’ I would just like to say that I fully agree with this, that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets. But I would also like to ask that the City Council extend that same courtesy to our fellow human beings. The temperatures have reached the teens recently. It’s expected to be a hard freeze tonight. And because of that, I’d like to ask the Council to respectfully reconsider the “camping” ordinance that I believe several other people have mentioned, that does prohibit sleeping with a blanket, a sleeping bag. I think we should extend that courtesy to our fellow humans. I mean, we do it for the animals, and I think we should respect life at all stages.”
Author, human rights activist, and former priest Father Nathan Monk started a petition, and it has already received over 7,000 signatures. The petition, which is directed at Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, asks that the no-blankets ordinance be repealed.