How charming! If we do not give spare change to people living on the street; if we enforce a policy of maintaining public spaces, including public toilets, for use by the public; if we recognize that the problems of homeless substance abusers are getting worse, then we may be able to reclaim a sense of public order in Center City.
Unfortunately, this will not be enough. Getting tough with the homeless requires that we get much tougher with ourselves. Unless we are willing to assign scarce police manpower to revolving rousts of homeless bench-dwellers and grate-sleepers, solutions depend on the availability of long-term, in- patient drug-treatment programs, low-income housing and group homes. Even if we succeed in chasing the homeless from Center City, will the next editorial advise us what to do in Germantown?