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Author Topic: What's to be done about homelessness?  (Read 9486 times)

Trinculoisdead

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What's to be done about homelessness?
« on: January 14, 2021, 12:36:01 PM »
I'm sitting in my work truck waiting for my boss to show up--we're painting a house in Santa Cruz, CA--and apparently there's a camp nearby because there's a steady stream of homeless men making their way past where I'm parked. One guy already did the "do you have a dollar you can spare?" Routine through my partially-open window. I heard him talking to himself a bit about how expensive it is to live here, and how he's not made of money. "Maybe you people are", he said. I'm not, of course. I can only afford to live in this county because my parents have property here.

Anyway, there are more homeless in my state than ever before, apparently, and some people I know point to their presence as an indication of a widening economic gap between the very rich and the very poor. I point to it as a sign of an increasing number of drug addicts and a willingness on the part of local governance to tolerate and care for this sub-group of the population. Anyway, what do you think? I for one wish that I could walk downtown without encountering crazies yelling into the air or pissing from wheelchairs into the bushes. But I don't know what's supposed to be done about it.

(One of my half-brothers is homeless here btw. In his case noone wants to help him because he's a drug-addled a-hole with an obnoxious temper who's burned almost all his bridges. But not all homeless are in that state, I know.)

Shasarak

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 06:04:11 PM »
I would suggest to look at everything that California has done and do the exact opposite.
There will be poor always,
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look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

David Johansen

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 07:23:51 PM »
Walking home from my store, in a small Southern Alberta city, there are homeless people in every nook and cranny.  It's been a warm winter (Jan 14 and we're above freezing with no end in sight) and they aren't going to the shelter.  The other night a woman who used to live in the suite behind my store with her boyfriend (who hit her) and his mother (who died last fall) came in crying (I haven't let her into the store since the time she stole my son's wallet) because the police just told her that her boyfriend (she even pressed charges at one point but they got back together) had been found dead of an overdose.  The guy had heavy equipment, carpentry, and firefighting training but he also had a criminal record and a drug problem.

I dunno, it didn't used to be like this.  Hopefully one day someone smarter than me will figure it out.  My solutions are generally considered reprehensible but when I'm dictator we're digging a ditch across Canada with picks and shovels and anyone can get a three square meals and a room in a mobile with three other people if they work on the ditch project.  When it's done, we'll turn 'em around and fill it back in again.  If there's a pipe line or some power lines at the bottom, well, why not?
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moonsweeper

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 08:34:56 PM »
Walking home from my store, in a small Southern Alberta city, there are homeless people in every nook and cranny.  It's been a warm winter (Jan 14 and we're above freezing with no end in sight) and they aren't going to the shelter.  The other night a woman who used to live in the suite behind my store with her boyfriend (who hit her) and his mother (who died last fall) came in crying (I haven't let her into the store since the time she stole my son's wallet) because the police just told her that her boyfriend (she even pressed charges at one point but they got back together) had been found dead of an overdose.  The guy had heavy equipment, carpentry, and firefighting training but he also had a criminal record and a drug problem.

I dunno, it didn't used to be like this.  Hopefully one day someone smarter than me will figure it out.  My solutions are generally considered reprehensible but when I'm dictator we're digging a ditch across Canada with picks and shovels and anyone can get a three square meals and a room in a mobile with three other people if they work on the ditch project.  When it's done, we'll turn 'em around and fill it back in again.  If there's a pipe line or some power lines at the bottom, well, why not?

That is the proper way to do it.  It also has the benefit of the project being able to help the ones who are addicts.  Unfortunately, those kinds of programs were done away with here in the US years ago.  (At least on any scale.)  As much as I despise FDR, some of the work-for-welfare programs he used were a good solution for problems like this.
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Ratman_tf

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 10:12:50 PM »
I've spent some time thinking about the issue. I live in a sattelite town around the Seattle area. It was bad a few years ago when I would venture in Seattle for a gaming convention. Nowadays I wouldn't even go. (Not that Covid helps, as there are no events planned, but even if...)

From what I have seen and heard, layman's perspective incoming, the state and city government are far too lenient in the name of "compassion", to the point that here in WA we provide drugs to addicts and do not enforce drug laws.

http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8798717&GUID=B09D5B35-DE4F-49B2-A90C-3FBA415819EF

The problem with homelessness isn't the affordability of housing, despite the propoganda to the otherwise, the problem is the homeless are incapable of holding down a job and home due to their issues with drugs and or mental health.

My solution would be to enforce the vagrancy laws, and give the perpetrators the option of getting state provided rehab and or mental health services. Here in WA we already dump about 100 million into the problem, and it's only getting worse. (Unless you work for the government, of course) Divert that money to the rehab programs and enforcement of vagrancy laws.

If someone is homeless and isnt' commiting serious offenses, we can be a little lenient, Being a single mom living in your car isn't the problem. Being an addict or schizophrenic assulting people is.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/seattle-considers-excusing-misdemeanors-including-assault-for-homeless-drug-addicts


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KingCheops

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 10:19:03 PM »
Reopen the institutions so that those who have legitimate mental issues can get the help they need.  Many here were unceremoniously dumped on the streets when the government closed the hospitals.

Also allow family members to have people committed and just have a panel that determines if its appropriate.  You can't commit someone here unless they want to.  My aunt drank herself to death because of this.

David Johansen

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 11:33:10 PM »
I heard a radio story about how poor houses used to work and how the institution broke down in Victorian England as the changes in agriculture and industry led to an influx of poor people into the cities.  I've thought for a while now that some people neither need or want a full apartment and that an arrangement where one gets a room with one bathroom for every four rooms or possibly a public washroom on each floor, both to make it easier to keep clean and to provide a chance of someone walking in if you're dying on the floor.  A cafeteria instead of personal kitchens.  The people living in the building could be paid to work in the cafeteria or doing the cleaning so they could make a little money and make themselves useful.  The objective would be to build communities where people could support each other.

How you do that without subjecting the neighborhood to crime and drug dealers or avoid creating slums is beyond me.  The difference, between what I'm suggesting and a prison is that you can leave or come back any time you want.

Here in Alberta, the government set up a program where sufficiently handicapped people are just given $1680 / month and largely left to themselves.  Why anyone thought it was a good idea to give drug addicts $1680 at the start of the month I'll leave open to speculation.  I know people who don't have a dollar left three days later and I know people who are able to buy homes and travel internationally on the same amount of money.  It's a stupid program.  My oldest son is on it and I still think it's a stupid program.
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Arthur Frayn

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 11:57:54 PM »
I certainly don't have an answer, but I've always found it particularly tragic that something like 10-12% of this nation's homeless are military veterans.  Something about that just feels wrong to me.  It seems like with the ungodly amount we spend on the military every year at least some of that could go to making a special safety net for anyone who was willing to put their lives on the line.
 

Daztur

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2021, 12:23:49 AM »
The problem with homelessness isn't the affordability of housing, despite the propoganda to the otherwise, the problem is the homeless are incapable of holding down a job and home due to their issues with drugs and or mental health.

Well there's homelessness and there's homelessness. A lot of homeless people have jobs, live out of cars, etc. They're just not visible at all unlike drug (or often alcohol) addicted street people. Lower housing prices would certainly help that class of people. The easiest way to help those people would be to take a battleaxe to restrictive zoning regulations on housing. When you restrict supply shortages are the inevitable result.
 

David Johansen

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2021, 01:13:03 AM »
Affordable housing is always an issue.  I'm not sure what the answer is, probably not more 2500 square foot monster house suburbs.  I think we need to find a way to make the 800 square foot detached home with a basement and a yard the standard again.  I'm not sure what the economics are.  I know that density has its advantages but piling people in tighter and tighter seems to guarantee social problems.
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myleftnut

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2021, 01:26:59 AM »
Lack of affordable housing due to high competition and low availability is the major factor for homelessness where I live.  High rent to income ratios for people with no savings get people in trouble quick.  And no not just bums.  Regular people with jobs are living out of their car.  Some of them never even lost their job.  The solution is the incentivize development of apartments buildings to combat the shortage but there is a lot of pushback from single family home owners. 

Homelessness is really exploding in my area.   There are more camps than I’ve ever seen. 

Trinculoisdead

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021, 01:39:10 AM »
 In my county there are so many damn hoops to leap through when building a home. It's really, really hard to do now unless you have a spare million lying around, and it keeps getting harder. I work in construction, and even though it's flipping central California where it never dips below 25 degrees F, they're having us build homes with R-values appropriate for real winter climates. I live in a cabin I built myself, but I was only able to do so by doing it illegally without permits.

Tiny homes offer a kind of solution, because if they're mobile they bypass most of these restrictions. But even if every homeless person in the state gets their own and a flippin Tesla truck to pull it around in that will do nothing to help with the drug and mental illness problem.

Isn't there always some tiny little Nordic country that has dealt with all of this in some effective way? Are there homeless in Stockholm?

Ratman_tf

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2021, 02:10:12 AM »
The problem with homelessness isn't the affordability of housing, despite the propoganda to the otherwise, the problem is the homeless are incapable of holding down a job and home due to their issues with drugs and or mental health.

Well there's homelessness and there's homelessness. A lot of homeless people have jobs, live out of cars, etc. They're just not visible at all unlike drug (or often alcohol) addicted street people. Lower housing prices would certainly help that class of people. The easiest way to help those people would be to take a battleaxe to restrictive zoning regulations on housing. When you restrict supply shortages are the inevitable result.

Yep. I consider them seperate issues with seperate solutions. Affordable housing isn't going to help a schizophrenic who stops taking her meds and runs away. (A personal family example of mine.) or an addict who gets fired for work performance and tardiness.
Those people need targeted help with their issues.
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Ghostmaker

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2021, 08:17:03 AM »
Assuming Youtube hasn't deleted it yet, watch the documentary 'Seattle is Dying'.

zircher

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Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2021, 11:52:41 AM »
Just a side note, I'm still peeved that so many cities are downright hostile to tiny homes.  This is really an ideal solution for many people.
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