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How to Fix the Homelessness Problem


A post came up in my Next Door feed this morning from a person who snapped the above pic.

What can be done? This guy has been sleeping in Bidwell Parkway for several days. Often joined by people who seem to be drunk or walk around yelling.  I don't want to approach.  Call 911 with medical emergency? Just don't want this to become a homeless base!

Accordingly, here is my advice for the person who posted it, and to anyone who lands here:

Advocate for "housing first" strategies that work.  Same for forms of universal healthcare. 

If you are a progressive with whom these concepts resonate already, lean in and support policies of compassionate containment or just containment, and involuntary policies of commitment to mental institutions and hospitals.  This includes for jails and prisons when it seems to make sense.  Forgive errors of judgement in the process (because there will be errors), and, fight abuses of the same in the courts - because they will happen as well - not in the streets every time a dramatic video is leaked.  Tolerate necessary social control.

If you are a conservative, lean in and pay the extra taxes to make all of this happen, as well as slightly higher prices to compensate or help businesses and companies pay real living wages.  You can't complain about homeless base camps and yet gripe against the social collectivism required to address them at the same time.  A minority of people will game social safety net programs and you will walk past a few people living as well as you, the one who goes to work each day, at subsized expense. Learn to smile and say hello to them as you do.

The last option, systematic extermination, is not on the table.

If you can't stretch a little either way from your ideological anchor, and ovens are not an option, then go out and tell the guy in the picture above a good joke, he could probably use the lift.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

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