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Old 10-22-2019, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,157 posts, read 4,891,988 times
Reputation: 3721

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Not sure I agree with all of this article but it makes some good points that deserve consideration.

"There are a lot of aspects in the debate over how to solve the Seattle homeless crisis: housing first, on-demand treatment, criminal policies, sidewalk laws, and even RV parking rules. But one advocate says there is a major factor being left out of the conversation — jobs. "I have a social work background, and they basically use the medical model,” said Dr. Lee Bowes. “The idea is that you need to fix all the problems the person has before you send them out to go to work. We don’t need to do that. The best way to socialize people back into society and not a situation where they are living on the streets; it’s to get them working as quickly as possible. That is the approach we take and it’s been successful in all the populations we’ve worked with. And we’ve been doing this since 1984. Bowes is CEO of America Works, an organization dedicated to using employment services as a route out of homelessness. America Works engages a range of populations, including people exiting prison, people experiencing homelessness, homeless veterans, and people on public assistance. The organization works in 27 locations around the United States. The power of being in a work environment, getting a paycheck, changes the way people speak, changes the way they dress, changes the way they give eye contact,” Bowes said. “I just think work is the solution to homelessness. Yes, you have people who are somewhat dysfunctional within every population. If you look at the general working population in the United States, you have people with substance abuse problems, mental health problems, that doesn’t mean that with the right kind of setting and support they can’t go to work".

Article here: https://mynorthwest.com/1562763/home...america-works/
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,505 posts, read 5,340,233 times
Reputation: 6832
Perhaps, but it can't be just any job. There has to be some level of meaning or merit in the work to ensure formable motivation to maintain employment, surmount addiction and engage in more acceptable circles of society.

In this day of increasing automation there is more, not less, indifference and isolation between and within production and producer.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
367 posts, read 159,964 times
Reputation: 1681
I worked with homeless and nearly homeless individuals seeking various degrees of support. With most if not all the issues weren't jobs; many actually had decent jobs they regularly went to. They were HOMEless, not jobless and even if you threw a job at the ones that didn't have one; you realize real quick those without have a clear medical or emotional reason why no one would hire them. Trust me, many of the individuals you see visibly homeless have been offered or qualify for housing that's heavily subsidised or free; the problem is for many of them they either don't understand the basics of maintaining a "normal" life or they refuse to adapt to a life off the street. This is why some will get housing after a sweep or when a good samaritan offers it and after a while will be back on the streets seemingly thriving.

Most retail places are hurting for workers; especially right now with the seasonal jobs opening up. You don't need a special program, you need workers that can function and the bottom line is that most homeless individuals are in their situation because they can't maintain a typical job. Be it mental health issues, drug addiction, or physical disabilities; most employers are going to need someone who can be an employee, not a charity case that shows up for only half their shifts due to ongoing personal issues.

The issue is that the majority of chronic homeless individuals (ones who keep losing housing or haven't been housed for significant periods of time) have outstanding medicals and mental issues that will never be solved and require constant support and handling because at that point they're completely adapted to life as they know it or can't make it on their own for whatever reason. Most sudden or unexpected homeless cases are individuals with jobs and for the most part normal people who lost housing and within 6 months with basic support will get back into housing and on their feet with no problem.

Yes, if people are able and currently don't have a job they should make that a priority over simply getting housing handed to them. But the major problems in the Seattle area in regard to the visible chronic homeless and the issues surrounding them such as crime, substance abuse, and advancing mental illness will only continue because these individuals are so far deep in their issues that even in the short term they can't be expected to function on their own. Even if they get housing and a job, many fall back on the lifestyle issues that led them to lose housing in the first place or continue to suffer from medical conditions that kept them from working in the first place.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,222 posts, read 418,786 times
Reputation: 1394
I was thinking the missing piece of Seattle's homeless problem is McNeil Island. Give them some tents, food and water and let them live there....
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
6,256 posts, read 6,070,082 times
Reputation: 4244
I was thinking the missing piece of Seattle's homeless problem is McNeil Island. Give them some tents, food and water and let them live there....


I like the McNeil Island idea, too. Treat the addiction, get them back to work likes homes' post above is huge. They've got to work to make it - to assimilate in to society. Paying huge Puget Sound rents/mortgages isn't going to help anyone rehab at all.

They could afford New Mexico rents/mortgages, however. I like what I read from the America Works company - it takes a strong commitment from social service agencies, too, and taxpayers that pay, too, to help them get with it. Then it's up to them - they'll need intestinal fortitude to keep going.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,851 posts, read 5,323,504 times
Reputation: 4469
Hard to get a job if the shelter kicks you out on the street in the morning with all your stuff to haul around.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Pac. NW
2,077 posts, read 1,592,210 times
Reputation: 3686
If the program works and gets people working, they're gonna have to live out in the sticks and commute, because a even a 75K per year job isn't enough to cover living in Seattle. And I agree that there is dignity and some sanctity in work.

The puzzling part of the article are these quotes:

“I just think work is the solution to homelessness. Yes, you have people who are somewhat dysfunctional within every population. If you look at the general working population in the United States, you have people with substance abuse problems, mental health problems, that doesn’t mean that with the right kind of setting and support they can’t go to work.”

“Employers are more than willing to provide training and meet that person halfway,” Bowes said.
“We don’t find that the issue is that there is a complete lack of housing,” she said. “There is always something available, like there is with the job market, you just have to know how to look for it”

If that is true, why would a program be needed?

Great intentions, worthy of hearty praise and evidence of deep virtue. I hate to say it, but the person they interviewed is probably dependent on gov't programs for a job.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Metro Seattle Area - Born and Raised
874 posts, read 332,007 times
Reputation: 2028
I agree that a job is a big part of recovering from being homeless. I believe that there are different levels of homelessness and that would need to be understood BEFORE starting any costly program. You/Us/We cannot save everybody from themselves and their bad choices, so focus on the ones who can be brought back into society as a functioning member since there are limits on the cost of any social program. That's just a fact of life.

I've dealt with plenty of homeless people and many of them don't have the needed social or life skills to function in society, let alone in the workforce. They can fake it for a week or a month, but that's about it before they slip back into their comfort zone of being homeless. Also, I do not think its fair or even safe to force or shame employers into automatically hiring the homeless since in the big picture, I think that this would be a major disruption to their operations and more important, to the other employees by adding another level of stress on their current workforce that is already stressed out.

I think that work camps, away from any urban center, could be a possible solution since in these camps, in a controlled manner, social and life skills can be reintroduced back into their lives and afterwards, retrained in a skill that fits their individual abilities. While providing these individuals the needed medical/dental services, drug treatment and mental health services to those who are accepting, complying AND working through this program with only very minimum issues.

Btw, give priority placement to family units AND keep them together throughout the program.

The end results of completing this program is EARNING certification(s) in employable work fields, assistance with job placement and continuous monitoring/mentoring UNTIL they're again fully integrated back into society. More important, the "temporary' removal of any non-violent criminal convictions... If they slip back into the homeless lifestyle, reinstate these convictions.

Also, provide these individuals first with a "communal" living accommodations... In the military, we call them barracks. Afterwards, with building a positive work history and no slips back into criminal or drugs usage... To include weed and alcohol abuse, move them into a one bedroom apartment, as a reward at can be easily achieved with positive and continuous hard work, well staying the course.

This will never work since there will be a large part of our population will refer this "work camps" as evil Nazi "concentration camps." Sorry, but most SJWs are clueless to life and the real world... And end up doing more damage than good.

In order for this to work, people will need to understand that tough measures is what is needed to save these damaged lives... Unlike a Nazi "concentration camp," people would be free to leave at anytime for any reason... But get nothing in return, but a sack lunch and an escort off of camp grounds.
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:58 AM
 
376 posts, read 169,988 times
Reputation: 868
Make everybody work. Eldery, children, single moms, handicapped. Every last one of them.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Outside US
1,662 posts, read 660,682 times
Reputation: 2250
Dysfunctional people with addictions and mental health issues are not the most hireable.

But yes, they need a chance.

I'm surprised - well, not surprised - we're even having this discussion.
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