What's with all the Santa cruz and San francisco homeless people? (high school, college)
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I can only speak for Santa Cruz. When I left the area in 2001 it was bad so I cannot imagine how much worse it has gotten. The bottom line is, the city puts up with it and caters to the bums.
When I lived there the city gave them permission to sleep in a park on the west side of town. Instead of making it more uncomfortable for the homeless they make it easier which attracts even more. There are plenty of cities and towns in CA that have great weather but due to the way SC is ran the bums & drug addicts do what they like.
Many of these people are on drugs & alcohol or have mental problems or both.
Thank your city officials for having their heads up their butts!
....Democrats tend to push social responsibility. While Republicans tend to push personal responsibility. The difference is the great divide and pushed separately between the first testament(personal) and new testament(social) of the Bible.
Efficiency is greatly reduced of America when when the lazy take money out of the economic circle and invest in marijuana and valueless acts of self-indulgency. .....
I think like many Republicans you've heard on the radio that everyone homeless, on public assistance, or unemployed is so because of sheer laziness.
There IS some of that, but I'd say the majority are either mentally or physically ill. It could happen to you also: you might get multiple sclerosis, get permanently injured and brain damaged in a car accident, get cancer, have a stroke, or become mentally ill.
You then could also end up homeless, or if not then you might have to live a miserable life, on what little you could get from public assistance, through no fault of your own. All the personal responsibility in the world wouldn't help you overcome some of those problems.
This is an interesting thread, I'll add my thoughts, if anyone cares to read them.
I have had to spend a brief period staying in a homeless shelter, I have also volunteered at a soup kitchen. I have friends who are currently homeless and have seen friends rise from homelessness to a very comfortable life. The average CCP (California Coastal Panhandler) is, in my opinion, a unique example of homelessness.
There are a lot of programs available, most only take advantage of the ones that require nothing of them. If you can stay sober, most homeless shelters are associated with county housing services and by demonstrating reliability, eventually one can escape homelessness. Food stamps pays about $180 a month for an individual in California, being of humble means myself, i know that amount is easily enough to feed someone for a month. There are work programs specifically aimed at the homeless. Places like Goodwill Industries and others have programs that hire the homeless, in hopes of giving them experience and references, but one has to be willing to do it, to be a part of the workforce.
People that take advantage of these programs are generally not homeless for long, they make it happen for themselves, yes, with a little help, but they still earn it.
Your average CCP is NOT one of these people. I am not willing to give them change, I know that they get enough from social services to eat and that there are places they can stay. The money is for drugs and alcohol. I'd choose to give my time or money to an organization that is geared toward helping people who want to help themselves.
Alcohol, it seems is one of the biggest factors in keeping someone homeless. I had a very dear friend go from living a nice life, to sleeping under the freeway and eventually jail because of alcohol. On more than one occasion she was given the opportunity, even medical and psychological treatment that she either refused or quit. The help is there, she is unwilling to take it. AA is a great resource, they have a presence in the homeless shelters, in the jails and at the chow halls. Again, it comes down to willingness.
I'm not really sure what to say about the mentally ill. If they haven't proven to be a menace or a threat, I see no reason to force them into any sort of institution. Again, the help is available, but their mental illness may prevent them from taking advantge of it. Just let them be I suppose.
To foster an air of tolerance and acceptance for the homeless, is to accept the bad element of that segment of society. I don't think that a person who is trying to escape homelessness would move somewhere specifically because it is homeless friendly. The type that moves there is the one who wants to take advantage of that attitude one who is only willing to take the help that requires no effort on their part. It becomes a destination for the transient and destitute.
There will always be homeless, no matter how compassionate and giving society is. Regardless of what percentage of my taxes care, no matter how many social programs exist, no matter how many hours are volunteered.
Last edited by ecvMatt; 12-17-2008 at 11:41 PM..
I've grown to have a bit of a negative view of homeless people, because 1-3 people lived right outside of the office where I worked. A good half the time, he'd be passed out from booze, and for most of the rest of the time, he'd be loudly having a conversation with himself.
It's just unnerving to be around that, 9 hours a day, 5 days a week... not to mention all the times I see homeless people outside of work.
I think its a function of a couple of things. First closing the state mental hospitals in the 70's was part of the problem. But it was also a function of the adoption of patients rights and the extention of those rights to the mentally ill. When you give the mentally ill the right to refuse meds and the right to refuse treatment, people who are irrational often will irrationally refuse that treatment.
A certain percentage of the population is mentally ill and I am sure victims of the drug culture increase that population.
Its only when the mentally ill do something significantly wrong that they enter the criminal justice system. Around 20-25% of the people behind bars are mentally ill. It would probably be less expensive to treat them in a state mental hospital where you wouldn't have to pay prison guard salaries or armour the mental hospitals like a prison.
But politically being tough on crime gets you re-elected where as increasing the budget for mental health programs doesn't.
The homeless choose to live in communities which provide services for the poor (food, shelter, counseling, etc). Generally these are more liberal communities like the bay area and Santa Monica in the southland.
The cause? Many believe Reagan is to blame. He released many mentally ill from institutions in an effort to curb budgetary concerns, and effectively made them homeless if they had no family to turn to. He's lucky he had money (and his wife) to support him through Alzheimer's.
"In fact many homeless rights activists say the single most devastating thing Reagan did to create homelessness was when he cut the budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by three-quarters, from $32 billion in 1981 to $7.5 billion by 1988. The department was the main governmental supporter of subsidized housing for the poor. Add this to Reagan’s overhaul of tax codes to reduce incentives for private developers to create low-income homes and you had a major crisis for low-income families and individuals. Under Reagan, the number of people living beneath the federal poverty line rose from 24.5 million in 1978 to 32.5 million in 1988." Democracy Now! | Reagan and the Homeless Epidemic in America
Thanks ecvMatt, I agree with your recommendation to support organizations rather than panhandlers. I realize that addicts make up a part of the homeless population, it's interesting to know that they're not welcome in shelters, etc if they're not sober.
Reagan didn't directly kick them out, but he was in a large measure responsible. Of the posts on your page, Snort, this is the one that matches what I remember:
[SIZE=2]Kathy B [/SIZE]
Angels Wii Have Heard on High
[/SIZE] [SIZE=1]posted 03 June, 2006 08:07 PM [/SIZE][SIZE=2]The law that Reagan signed was the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), passed by the legislature & signed into law in 1967 by Governor Ronald Reagan. The idea was to "stem entry into the state hospital by encouraging the community system to accept more patients, hopefully improving quality of care while allowing state expense to be alleviated by the newly available federal funds." It also was designed to protect the rights of mental patients. It was considered a landmark of its time--a change in the attitude toward mental illness and its treatment.
The law restricted involuntary commitment, among other things. It allows people to refuse treatment for mental illness, unless they are clearly a danger to someone else or themselves. It facilitated release of many patients---supposedly to go to community mental health treatment programs.
Reagan's role, besides signing the bill, was using it as a reason to cut his budget. What Reagan did was, at the same time the bill was passed, to reduce the budget for state mental hospitals. His budget bill "abolished 1700 hospital staff positions and closed several of the state-operated aftercare facilities. Reagan promised to eliminate even more hospitals if the patient population continued to decline. Year-end population counts for the state hospitals had been declining by approximately 2000 people per year since 1960."
This law presumed that the people released from hospitals or not committed at all would be funneled in community treatment as provided by the Short Doyle Act of 1957. It was "was designed to organize and finance community mental health services for persons with mental illness through locally administered and locally controlled community health programs."
It also presumed that the mentally ill would voluntarily accept treatment if it were made available to them on a community basis. However, because of the restrictions on involuntary commitment, seriously mentally ill people who would not consent to treatment "who clearly needed treatment but did not fit the new criteria or who recycled through short term stays -- became a community dilemma. For them, there was nowhere to go." Once released, they would fail to take meds or get counseling and went right back to being seriously ill.
Also, unfortunately, at the time LPS was implemented, funding for community systems either declined or was not beefed up. Many counties did not have adequate community mental health services in place and were unable to fund them. Federal funds for community mental health programs, which LPS assumed would pick up the slack, began drying up in the early 1980s, due to budget cutbacks in general. The Feds shifted funding responsibility to the states.
Didnt the homeless situation in California begin to get bad when Governor Reagan cut the Mental Health budget many years ago? I am quite sure that alot of Mentally ill ended up on the streets with a months worth of meds and no place to go.
You are 100% correct.
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