As homeless people in tents have proliferated on sidewalks in cities, some officials have seized upon the idea of moving homeless people to sanctioned campgrounds.
Let’s be clear about one thing: Moving homeless people and their tents off the sidewalk to, say, an empty parking lot solves homelessness about as much as you putting a rain catcher on your backyard deck solves the drought. What it mainly accomplishes is moving them out of sight of the residents and businesses complaining about them being on the sidewalks.
However, safe campgrounds can be a good option for some homeless people. My Times colleague, Ben Oreskes, takes an interesting look at sanctioned campgrounds in San Francisco and what works about them and what doesn’t.