During the buildup to the 1996 Olympics, the City of Atlanta purchased one-way bus tickets for many of the city’s homeless. Predictably, the municipalities on the other end of those one-way tickets were not pleased. Atlanta, of course, didn’t care. The unofficial capital of the South wanted to put her best face forward for the watching world. Well, West Palm Beach, Fla., has found another way to discourage the homeless from setting up residence on the city’s streets: playing the hyper-annoying song “Baby Shark” on loop.
It’s completely understandable why the homeless would prefer living in Florida over other states. The lack of snow and ice would be a plus if you’re forced to sleep outdoors. On the flip side, it’s also understandable that communities in Florida would prefer for the homeless to live elsewhere.
To be clear, having been homeless once myself, I’m more sympathetic to the plight of the homeless than are many of my fellow conservatives. I’m opposed to any and all laws that discourage altruistic actions toward the homeless. Making it illegal to feed those in need is wicked. However, I’m also not unsympathetic to those who prefer for the homeless to live somewhere other than on the doorsteps of their community’s businesses.
With large homeless populations, cities can usually expect a rise in crime, a decrease in property values, and a loss of revenue as citizens avoid the areas where homeless people congregate and live. West Palm Beach has found an inventive yet irritating way to combat the problem.
Until the Florida city can change the official hours for the popular Lake Pavilion, West Palm Beach has begun playing “Baby Shark” and “Raining Tacos” on a loop to drive the homeless away. Making the operating hours official will make it easier for the authorities to enforce the trespassing laws.
Not everyone is happy about the city’s actions though. Speaking to The Palm Beach Post, Illaya Champion said that using music to chase people away “is wrong.” He added that he still intends to sleep at the Lake Pavilion even though the constantly looping music is annoying.