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Old 08-08-2018, 07:09 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,022 posts, read 25,829,769 times
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Quote:
............These are the homeless that could be helped with lower housing costs. What can we do to help them?

I can't see any reason for me to help them. My money is already giving them an excellent education for free that they apparently made a deliberate decision to refuse to take advantage of. My tax dollars pay for a university education for them, free or subsiduzed that they made a choice to not take advantage of. My tax dollars pay for food stamps, food banks, and soup kitchens to feed them and free medical care for them.

I'm already paying for nice middle class housing for low and medium income famiies.

I'm already paying for disability income for the disabled and those faking disability.

Until this country goes fully communist and the government owns all the house, housing costs will continue to go up with costs and inflation.

Those who live in cars, have a disability check for income, but can't afford local housing, have the opotion of driving their car to a town where housing costs are low and their disability check will cover rent. I have compassion fatigue and I resist paying any more of their life expenses.

As for the big cities needing the low paid serving class, I have no sympathy if they have no one to make their coffee or clean their house. Let those who can't afford to live there move to a cheap place to live. Let those who can afford to live there make their own coffee, cook their own meals. Or else pay the help enough so that the help can afford rent, which they would do if all the workers moved away.

So, you tell us, OP, exactly what you are doing to help the homeless?
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:08 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,051 posts, read 17,191,107 times
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I have seen the federally subsidized housing that is offered to the low income and disabled in my state/ It's 400 square ft and pretty run down. You do your laundry at the coin op laundromat. Might as well live in a van and pay no rent and no utilities. I think the subsidized housing raises your rent if you dare to work. Some people don't mind it and that's all they want.

If people do not want to live in cars, maybe there should be more very low income housing. Maybe on the idea of motel rooms. One room and a bathroom, a microwave and a fridge. Furnished with a bed and a chair. Charge a very low flat rate rent, like $2/night.

It would cost the taxpayer some money though. And it would require some oversight by social services.

I've never seen homeless people except in NYC. I think we need to know more about WHY these people are sleeping in cars. Do they want to? Is it their choice? Why? To save money? Because they are mentally ill? Because they don't want the responsibility of an apartment or rented room? Because they are running from the law?

If the object is to save money so they can buy their own place, then I think the dirt cheap motel rooms would be best. As it is now, the federally subsidized apartments are not pleasant places to live, they cost 1/3 of your already low income so you are not able to save anything for the future (the rest of your money goes for food, clothing, car expenses, etc.) and you are essentially stuck there in subsidized housing; you can never get out. You are not allowed to have savings above a certain amount; you are kept down.

I do think some dirt cheap motel rooms might work in some instances. But the person would have to want that and be willing to go through placement by a social worker. Maybe there would be a time limit on how long they were allowed to live there.

I'm on the fence as to whether people should be allowed to live in their cars. I guess it's ok if there's a place set aside for that purpose, but I'd be wary of homeless people just parking anywhere and living in their cars. It's not fair to others. I was reading in a state forum about people going to a store and there's a guy living in a car out in back. Throws trash all around, makes a mess, kind of scares people or freaks them out. I don't want to go to the store and see someone there living in their car. I'm not opposed to setting some place aside for them to live though. Free parking but either the police would patrol or it could be staffed by someone who was prepared to deal with problems and offer help, if wanted. Sort of like a camp ground.

Maybe a lot of people who live in cars are veterans with PTSD or other mental problems. I don't know what to do about that. It shouldn't happen in the first place but these endless wars produce that sort of thing.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:40 AM
 
2,786 posts, read 1,471,965 times
Reputation: 983
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
most of USA homelessness is by choice:
we (USA) often 'enable' it, or...
we (USA) make it very tough to get the appropriate help (Too expensive HC / Psychological care);
Lack of our society and government to interfere (+/-),
few programs / jobs that are suitable to 'passive-participate' and sustaining ones minimal needs.

Other reasons for homelessness:
1) Easier way of life
2) No desire for working or taking housing responsibility
3) Mental illness
4) Destitute due to unique USA challenges (too easy to get into debt - false perception that wealth and beauty are everything) (Medical costs, bankruptcy, payday loans, spending more than they make)
In the 1950's: no homeless people and now, a lot of homeless people. The reason for huge increase: sky high housing prices and very few SRO's, along with minimal public housing. Mentally ills have no mental hospitals or flop houses to go to. In the 1950's cheap, cheap housing and lots of SRO's, along with government supportive housing. Mentally Ills at hospitals or treated with medications. Just bring the 1950's style ecosystem back!!!!!!
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Boston
5,097 posts, read 1,464,223 times
Reputation: 3735
leave those poor people alone.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Washington state
4,688 posts, read 2,308,736 times
Reputation: 13717
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I can't see any reason for me to help them. My money is already giving them an excellent education for free that they apparently made a deliberate decision to refuse to take advantage of. My tax dollars pay for a university education for them, free or subsiduzed that they made a choice to not take advantage of. My tax dollars pay for food stamps, food banks, and soup kitchens to feed them and free medical care for them.

I'm already paying for nice middle class housing for low and medium income famiies.

I'm already paying for disability income for the disabled and those faking disability.

Until this country goes fully communist and the government owns all the house, housing costs will continue to go up with costs and inflation.

Those who live in cars, have a disability check for income, but can't afford local housing, have the opotion of driving their car to a town where housing costs are low and their disability check will cover rent. I have compassion fatigue and I resist paying any more of their life expenses.

As for the big cities needing the low paid serving class, I have no sympathy if they have no one to make their coffee or clean their house. Let those who can't afford to live there move to a cheap place to live. Let those who can afford to live there make their own coffee, cook their own meals. Or else pay the help enough so that the help can afford rent, which they would do if all the workers moved away.

So, you tell us, OP, exactly what you are doing to help the homeless?
I volunteered at a local food bank for a long time. I also volunteered to help at a church that has a Day of Hope once a year, where they bring in food, clothing, people to fix cars, give dental work, etc, all for free. It's quite a large undertaking and requires a lot of organization. It's a church doing this, but although they offer to pray with people, they don't force anyone to pray to get their services. As an atheist, I don't mind helping out because I can see that contributing to help them does more for people than I can do by myself.

Now I'm pretty much to the point where I can't stand for long periods of time, so I've had to back off of doing stuff like that.

One of the things that I really wanted to get off the ground was making a forum for homeless people and using it to highlight each state in the US. Under each state would be a list of cities and under each city would be a list of services that homeless people can access. If I could do that, I'd like to put a link to that forum on every library homepage in the US, so when the homeless access a computer at a library, this is one of the things they see.

I've brought this idea up to many homeless sources here in the city, but I can't generate any interest. So I don't know if it's a doable idea or just a silly one.

In our area, we have multiple services for the homeless, but they're in all different areas. We have Bremerton Housing, Kitsap Housing, a Department of Social Services, several food banks, shelters for homeless teens, free legal help, help for medical care, and places where low income people can get help with their utilities.

Problem is, all these are separate organizations in different parts of the city and some of them don't know what the other does. In addition to that, these organizations are also separate from any organizations in other cities that might be just a couple miles away. For instance, Silverdale is 7 miles up the road and they have much, much more in their food bank compared to where I live as the residents there are much better off in terms of donating things. But if you can't show you're domiciled in Silverdale, you can't use that food bank.

Even calling 211 isn't much help. I'm in subsidized housing right now that I came into after living in my car and despite applying for food stamps and disability, no one told me about this place. I have a friend who works for United Way, and she knew about it because she handles the funding for different organizations. So she told me and that's how I got a place to live while my disability case was going through the courts.

I wish I could do more, but physically and financially, I'm sort of stuck myself.

The best I can do right now is to let other people know that not all homeless people are drug addicts, not all of them are alcoholics, not all of them have mental issues, not all of them became homeless because of bad choices, and not all of them can be painted with the same brush.

There are homeless people who are retired, who are students, who are working full time, who have families, who are kids who have aged out of the foster care system, or someone who has left an abusive spouse or parent. These are people who could become contributing members of society if someone just wanted to take the time to help them.

I left an abusive home and if I hadn't had cousins to stay with for a couple of months, I wouldn't have graduated high school and I certainly would have been a homeless teen. Safe shelter counts for a lot, believe me. And why we can't do that in a nation that's supposed to be the greatest nation on earth, I don't know.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,051 posts, read 17,191,107 times
Reputation: 30235
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentraiser View Post
I volunteered at a local food bank for a long time. I also volunteered to help at a church that has a Day of Hope once a year, where they bring in food, clothing, people to fix cars, give dental work, etc, all for free. It's quite a large undertaking and requires a lot of organization. It's a church doing this, but although they offer to pray with people, they don't force anyone to pray to get their services. As an atheist, I don't mind helping out because I can see that contributing to help them does more for people than I can do by myself.

Now I'm pretty much to the point where I can't stand for long periods of time, so I've had to back off of doing stuff like that.

One of the things that I really wanted to get off the ground was making a forum for homeless people and using it to highlight each state in the US. Under each state would be a list of cities and under each city would be a list of services that homeless people can access. If I could do that, I'd like to put a link to that forum on every library homepage in the US, so when the homeless access a computer at a library, this is one of the things they see.

I've brought this idea up to many homeless sources here in the city, but I can't generate any interest. So I don't know if it's a doable idea or just a silly one.

In our area, we have multiple services for the homeless, but they're in all different areas. We have Bremerton Housing, Kitsap Housing, a Department of Social Services, several food banks, shelters for homeless teens, free legal help, help for medical care, and places where low income people can get help with their utilities.

Problem is, all these are separate organizations in different parts of the city and some of them don't know what the other does. In addition to that, these organizations are also separate from any organizations in other cities that might be just a couple miles away. For instance, Silverdale is 7 miles up the road and they have much, much more in their food bank compared to where I live as the residents there are much better off in terms of donating things. But if you can't show you're domiciled in Silverdale, you can't use that food bank.

Even calling 211 isn't much help. I'm in subsidized housing right now that I came into after living in my car and despite applying for food stamps and disability, no one told me about this place. I have a friend who works for United Way, and she knew about it because she handles the funding for different organizations. So she told me and that's how I got a place to live while my disability case was going through the courts.

I wish I could do more, but physically and financially, I'm sort of stuck myself.

The best I can do right now is to let other people know that not all homeless people are drug addicts, not all of them are alcoholics, not all of them have mental issues, not all of them became homeless because of bad choices, and not all of them can be painted with the same brush.

There are homeless people who are retired, who are students, who are working full time, who have families, who are kids who have aged out of the foster care system, or someone who has left an abusive spouse or parent. These are people who could become contributing members of society if someone just wanted to take the time to help them.

I left an abusive home and if I hadn't had cousins to stay with for a couple of months, I wouldn't have graduated high school and I certainly would have been a homeless teen. Safe shelter counts for a lot, believe me. And why we can't do that in a nation that's supposed to be the greatest nation on earth, I don't know.
You are so right. If these people want help, they should get help. What is wrong with this country that we now have people living in their cars! Sometimes I can't believe this is the same country I grew up in with people living in houses --cars were for driving.

I know in some places in winter, people go around to homeless people and ask them if they want to go to a shelter. Usually they decline. Shelters are not the answer but maybe a room to stay in and some interim help to get them back on their feet.

Mentally ill need some place to go. Living in their cars is not acceptable and should not be encouraged. Compassionate care for them, not some horrible mental hospital where they are doped up on medication. A place to live and people to help them. I have always thought that we need more social workers. Social workers who are well trained and well enough paid. Not social workers who are so overloaded with casework that they can't even keep track of people. We have children who end up dead because the caseworkers were so overworked. What has happened to this country that we have people living in their cars and we are not even shocked or concerned.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:33 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,836 posts, read 37,517,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
You are so right. If these people want help, they should get help. ... Shelters are not the answer but maybe a room to stay in and some interim help to get them back on their feet.

Mentally ill need some place to go. Living in their cars is not acceptable and should not be encouraged. Compassionate care for them, not some horrible mental hospital where they are doped up on medication. A place to live and people to help them. ...
Yep, consider the community Poor Farms of 80 - 90 yrs ago...

A place to live, be productive, help others, learn skills, and purposefully exist if you cannot deal with affording / maintaining a private home / mainstreaming.

So EZ to fix... and most communities have enough public land to do it (even old / past poor farms), and more would be donated to a successful solution.

Don't need a huge staff of phd social workers...
Some we can help, others will never be 'mainstreamed'... that's OK, they can be productive and safe and contribute to the community.

Plenty of businesses, individuals, schools, volunteers would be delighted to help in this effort. (as long as it was successful, which it would be enormously successful if done to benefit (as in IMPROVE) the conditions of the homeless. )
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:00 AM
 
20,437 posts, read 26,572,905 times
Reputation: 13148
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentraiser View Post


We have enough people on this forum to find a solution. I think if we all work at it, we can put our heads together and come up with something. Should we target a specific area, first, or just jump in with both feet and try to come up with a solution that will cover any city anywhere? You guys tell me.
You seriously think that the solution to the homeless situation lies in City-Data posters? Actual experts have been trying to figure this thing out for years.

This thing didn't happen all at once and there is no magic solution.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Washington state
4,688 posts, read 2,308,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
You seriously think that the solution to the homeless situation lies in City-Data posters? Actual experts have been trying to figure this thing out for years.

This thing didn't happen all at once and there is no magic solution.
I'm reminded of a quote from the book "The Great Escape":

"And it proves something that I believed in then and know now - there is nothing that can stop a group of men, regardless of race, creed, color, or nationality, from achieving a goal once they agree as to what that goal is." George Harsh


Solutions come from the most unlikeliest of places. If I was looking for something and had the whole country to look for it in, wouldn't I be a fool to only search my front yard? If the experts have been looking for a solution for years and haven't found one yet, why are we calling them experts? Why do you, Metlakatla, or anyone else, think you can't come up with an idea these so-called experts haven't thought of yet?
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:17 PM
 
4,433 posts, read 1,505,099 times
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[quote=rodentraiser;52724723]And put it where? This is what so much of the problem is in San Francisco and Seattle. Tents set up on sidewalks.

-------------------------------------------------------

I'm not sure ALL homeless people, especially the ones in cars and RVs, are homeless by choice. I would be really interested to know if those of you who think that people are homeless because of choice and poor decisions have ever really spoken to or know any homeless person personally. I'm not talking about your aunt's deadbeat son, but I mean, have you ever really spoken to the people living in their cars and RVs?

Do you know how many lost their homes when the economy tanked in 2008? Or how many of them lost their savings when Madoff stole their money? How many of them are there because of an accident or a medical emergency that took all their savings? Or lost their homes in a natural disaster? Or lost their pensions when their businesses collapsed or were bought out by another company? Or people who have been divorced and lost their money and home to the other spouse?

Are these really the people you're talking about when you say they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Do you really think people that are between 55 and 75 are going to be able to do that? Do you really think those who are disabled will be able to work their way out of poverty? Is this the group of people you think you're enabling when they're given help?

And what about those who are already working a full time job? Is giving help to those people enabling?

Having said all that, I will be homeless by choice. But although I'm not working (I'm disabled), I choose to be homeless because I can save more money faster that way and I'm saving money for a home I want to put on a lot I bought. I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't do drugs.

But still, if you were to go to the park and see me sitting in my car reading, it would be obvious that I live in that car. My circumstances may be different, but I am still a person in a car that people will judge without bothering to find out why I'm there. They'll say they're enabling me if I were to get help, or that I should be rounded up and put in a camp, or that I should move to a cheaper place so I can afford to rent an apartment. They'd say I couldn't work because I was a drug addict or an alcoholic, or that I made poor life choices, or that I was lazy, and the only thing they'd get right would be that I was homeless by choice. However, if you asked anyone, they'd probably never correctly guess what that choice was.

And no one will ask. All they'll do is judge. That's why I'm asking you guys if you know any homeless people who live in their cars or vans or RVs and do you know for sure why they're there, before talking smack about them? And is it really so terrible to offer them help (not me, by the way - I don't need any help)?[/quote]


I know a young man who is homeless. I'm not sure what brought him to the point of sleeping on benches, in parks. it breaks my heart, and I'm worried for him. He SAID he wanted to come home (to St. Louis) and I, and other people have offered their home and a bus ticket to come home.


No one has heard from him since that offer, over 3 weeks ago. I'm worried for him.
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