Most people would not open their home to homeless strangers, especially when there is potential confliction with the law. Cyrus Kamini, a man in North Charleston S.C., decided to go against the norm of society; which he may pay a price for. He was charged with illegally operating a homeless shelter from his house and received a fine and court hearing date. Some would find his actions, and the response of the law, confusing; especially when trying to decide which side of the spectrum to agree with. Why would someone open their home as a shelter without legal permits to unknown strangers, knowing the lawful consequences? Why would the state punish a man for opening a house he owned to whomever he wished?
The state believes Kamini should be held accountable because he admitted to knowingly violating multiple codes. However, Kamini sees his actions differently. He believes he was not performing anything “official”, outside of welcoming people into his house. This leaves people wondering where the scale of justice should tip for a situation that seems to fall into counter-cultural views. Codes are enforced to support safety and health regulations. Yet, should a man be punished for opening his heart to those who need it most?
This matter contains an unclear, grey line. Kamini knowingly violated the law but did so to do as he believed would benefit the homeless. A lawful dilemma remains in determining if Kamini’s actions were official and can be held accountable, or, if he was simply welcoming people temporarily onto the property he owned. Moral questions arise when factoring if following the law outweighs the welfare of people. Those who follow realistic views would say he violated the law and deserves lawful punishment, despite good intentions. Others who favor a more compassionate opinion argue he aided people with legal belongings and should not suffer consequences.
Should the court’s ruling side with the written book or bleeding heart? Society continues to display that an answer for this has not been set it stone, based on individual opinions. Kamini nobly intended to help the less fortunate, however, knowingly broke state codes. The court hearing will determine his fate and resolve if lawful regulation trumps human welfare in this particular circumstance.