You can call them whatever you wish: the homeless, the real estate-challenged, the un-housed, or put some other happy face on these wretches.
As for mean spirited, black hearted ol' Fredd, I call them what they have always been called by rational people: vagrants. That, or bums, vagabonds, ne-er-do-wells, miscreants, hobos, I'm sure there are a few more accurate terms out there that don't come to mind right now. In any event, these people who choose to live on the streets and sponge off of the crumbs of society have indeed made a choice: to live like animals on the mean streets of America.
America has many freedoms that other countries deny their citizens; the freedom of assembly, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion and yes - the freedom to fail. We don't demand that anybody succeed in anything. We encourage success, but success is not mandated. You can bomb out in life if you want to here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
We Americans have also been generous to a fault in years past to accommodate those that are for whatever reason down on their luck. Churches have historically reached out to the down and out. Charities such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill and St. Vincent DePaul, all are still around and willing to lend a hand to those who need it. There are still food banks, soup kitchens, warming centers and lots of Americans that donate to all of these charitable efforts even as we speak.
But the vagrants that choose (and yes, they choose) to turn their back on efforts to help them should not garner any pity or empathy whatsoever from polite society. There is every manner of help for these vagrants should they want it.
But they don't.
There are many factors that put people out onto the streets; drug addition, mental illness, stubbornness in turning their back on their families and friends who want to help them. Or just flat out laziness. And a myriad of other factors as well. All of them are choices, with the exception of mental illness, and often that is a result of poor choices in life leading up to what many would consider mental impairment. You try and live in Chicago on a grate in January, and then tell me how clearly you are thinking lately.
Back in the day (25 years ago or so?) there were still vagrants here and there, but nothing like the infestation in major urban areas we see today. Back then, vagrancy laws were in place and enforced; if you had no visible means of support, and you caught the attention of a law enforcement agent, you would be picked up and put in jail. At that point, the police would attempt to find your family or loved ones to see if somebody could bail you out and vouch for your future conformity to laws on the books, such as loitering, vagrancy, disturbing the peace, trespassing or public indecency such as defecating or urinating in public.
What is now different today than it was in days gone by with regards to the explosion of vagrants on our streets? Simple: we have bleeding heart liberal politicians who tie law enforcement hands in enforcing the laws that are still on the books: disturbing the peace, public indecency, trespassing and so on. The local voters who put these politicians into office desire their neighborhoods and businesses be bombarded by the pesky vagrants; they must, since they vote into office these bleeding heart pinkos who desire more homelessness (vagrancy), not less. Voters want more vagrancy, they must according to the numbers of vagrants we see on urban streets, so many that law enforcement agents must step over without so much as making eye contact.
Homelessness is a choice; and so is putting up with it. Notice there is not one single bum living on a sidewalk anywhere in Belair, CA. Or Beverly Hills. The residents of these upper crust cities will not have it. Nor do you see any bums on the streets of Snyder, TX, Gadsden AL or Goshen IN: small town folks don't put up with this nonsense, either.
Citizens of LA, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco: you need to vote out your current liberal governments, and start policing up these vagrants. Folks without visible means of support and the drug addicts/mentally impaired need to be incarcerated. Just like days gone by. Those who have any brains will get jobs to avoid incarceration, and those nuts/drug addicts will languish in prison. Which is where they should be, not on the streets.