We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A Scott Adams intervew with Dr. Drew explains that housing is not the issue. It's about mental illness, personality disorders, addiction, and mental insufficency and otherwise low-functioning people. That is a lot of people.
It is a tragedy of false compassion. Thousands of people who need help, when help is available, resist it. It's a free country. Freedom often means messy.
I know from multiple personal experience that many of the so-called homeless are fakes (I see them get picked up by someone in a nice car after their shift of begging). Perhaps I should start taking and sharing pictures of these events, and of the "soft touches" (I want to use a harsher word here) who make it pay, thereby causing the problem.
I live in the suburbs of San Francisco. You wouldn't believe the bat shit crazy people that walk around. For most of them, there is no help that would make any difference; they're too far gone. In my view, these people are not roaming the streets because they are free. They are victims of a system that is too cowardly to give them the release of death. So Dr. Bliss is right about one thing: these people need help. 100cc of insulin would do the job. If I were in that situation, that's what I would want.
In my experience the major part of the problem is that there is too much help. If no one handed them money and other necessities and there was no SSI or other government help AND if we treated them as public nuisances and jailed them overnight for trespassing, loitering, panhandling, or urinating/defecating in public; THEN the majority of them would adapt to society and/or seek help from family and friends. Not all of them of course but those too far gone to learn to survive should be institutionalized.
There is no way to institutionalize crazy people. A mental hospital costs about five hundred dollars a day, per bed. And the patients don't get any care; they just get as much Oxycontin as they can handle. These poor people are kept alive for no reason.
I do agree with you that some of the higher-functioning homeless people could be helped, but there are so many of them that trying to solve the problem on a case-by-case basis would be impossible. So they will have to be rounded-up wholesale. Have you seen the terrible videos of Los Angeles and Portland? The only thing to do is sterilize the worst areas with nerve gas, and then bring-in bulldozers and clean-up crews. Those guys are going to need a lot of Lysol.
I was in Salt Lake City quite a few years ago and happened to be in old downtown, the bad part near the railroad tracks. At the time, unbeknownst to me, there was a huge homeless shelter that I guess was underwritten by the LDS. I was there around 4 in the afternoon, which is just before the daily opening of the shelter. I felt like I was in the middle of a post-apocalyptic movie. There were literally hundreds of homeless people, all in perfect homeless mufti, replete with backpacks, wheelchairs, scooters, bicycles, shopping carts, luggage carriers, the whole bit, each of them dragging around everything they owned. Hundreds. All converging in the soon-to-be-opening shelter. SLC is in the middle of high plains desert. It's not normally a really nice place to be, climate wise - but with these kinds of services and accommodations it had drawn enough people to where it seemed like a whole demographic slice of the city. It was a stark representation of the unintended consequences of charity with no questions asked or demands made.
I would highly recommend the John Batchelor podcast (politics, books, etc). It has a revolving cast of regulars, and one in particular is Jeff Bliss in a segment called Pacific Watch. He typically talks about California issues, and homelessness is obviously a hot topic. Jeff always comes back to the emergent Homeless Industrial Complex that does what rent-seekers do by taking their fat cut off of the top for services rendered, etc. What I always worry about is between the homeless (and the conditions they surround themselves in) and the illegal population, what nasty disease is going to get introduced/re-introduced into the United States. See how ebola is moving around Africa lately...
Good to see Scott and Dr. Drew pushing this particular boulder up the hill.
Gerard at AD ran a great video on Seattle’s issues. Addicts and the mentally ill, now with added government stupidity to actively encourage petty crime, backed by “do-gooders” whose revenue streams are tax dollars.