If it were rejecting homeless shelters in order to use the money for providing more people with meaningful work where they can earn enough to pay the rent and feed their families, I could maybe see that. But I don't think that's what's happening.
Dawn Armstrong posted a gentle plea to people everywhere (and especially in Utah) to quit trying to keep the homeless people at a safe distance.
I know that's an awkward way to interpret things, but it's what you are saying when you say you don't want a homeless shelter in your neighborhood:
Keep them at safe distance!
Is homelessness a disease?
Are they somehow tainted by their association with the road?
Or is it that they must have done something terribly wrong to warrant losing their homes, and you, heaven forbid, should not have to associate with people like that?
Maybe you think of the Brian David Mitchells out there. Somebody posted such a comment on Dawn's blog. I think, maybe, I overreacted in my comment on that post. Dawn was much kinder.
Maybe I'm overreacting still, posting this in my blog.
But, statistically speaking, your family is no safer with, say, your business associates, neighbors, friends, relatives.
Most abuse is perpetrated by people who are known by the victim.
I think that's why Jesus finds no moral quandary in teaching us to be good Samaritans. Avoiding the good deed makes us no safer.
(If I had time, I'd work out a lengthy discussion of why charitable behavior ultimately makes the world safer for both your children and you, but it's two in the morning here.)
Would I be playing too rough if I questioned whether you were more concerned about your property value than with your family's safety?
They. The homeless. Dawn is not the only one for whom the "they" means "we".
If you'll stop for a moment's sober reflection, you'll remember that the only thing that stands between you and them is a little luck. If you can stand to admit your dependence on deity, there, but for the grace of God, go we.
The disease which is destroying our modern world, the source of the violence that expresses itself in terrorism and the conundrum of religious warfare is precisely the us vs. them approach to economics, and to life in general.
Them is us. They are we.
I know it's easy to be scared. But if they are not safe, neither are we. Nor ours.