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Old 11-20-2014, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
560 posts, read 441,553 times
Reputation: 1002

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I think it is a mistake to lump all homeless people together and expect a single solution to the problem.

People who are homeless due to economic reasons are often times invisible, as some of the previous posters have mentioned. With enough time and help, I think the vast majority of these people can get their lives back together. I do believe as a society we can come up with some type of temporary housing for these folks so they can live with some dignity while getting help. I don't mind my tax money going to programs that would help them.

The really intractable problem are the mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts, and the voluntary homeless or street people. In previous times, these people would be institutionalized, or locked up for vagrancy. While there certainly were a lot of abuses in past decades, I don't believe our current policies are any more humane. The courts have ruled that the mentally ill cannot be institutionalized against their will if they are not a menace to themselves or others. So we are now so much more humane and civilized by letting them live on the sidewalks. If they are mentally ill, doesn't that almost mean by definition that they cannot make rational choices or decisions? Is it really so horrible that these people could be taken to a facility, whether they like it or not, and get the treatment and medications they need? I see the same mentally ill people every day walking to and from work. The lady that is spread out on the side walk in front of a local park, living next to the trash can, garbage strewn everywhere. Sitting there yelling at random and imaginary people. Sleeping in the open when it is 35 degrees at night. According to our court system, she has a right to do that. I disagree.

Then there are the lazy street kids begging for money on every corner. Sprawled out sitting on cardboard, all day long. I suppose it would be so cruel and unjust if the city were allowed to make them sweep the sidewalks and pick up trash in exchange for money. If they didn't want to do that, then get them off the sidewalks and re-instate vagrancy laws.

Now for the alcoholics and drug addicts, I know some cities are creating housing situations that doesn't try to get them sober but at least gets them off the streets. While this idea is controversial, it's better for everyone to have them in some sort of safer housing rather than being on the streets. They use fewer public resources, it is safer for them, and they have a better chance of turning their life around.
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,954 posts, read 7,941,777 times
Reputation: 11183
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
There are sound working people with college degrees on the streets. Why are you saying it isn't possible to serve them? That could easily be one of us.
Your logical mistake is thinking that you should take money from private citizens against their will to house the homeless. That is incorrect. If you want to do something for the homeless, it is up to you to take personal money out of your bank account and help them. But it is morally wrong for you to demand that private citizens fork over their money to pay for charity.

Charity should be voluntary and asked for, not mandatory and demanded.

You watched a special and now you want to start making demands. So you suggest that "cities" do something and that "cities" have enough money to do this or that.

There are no "cities". There is you and me and confiscatory taxes taken from us against our will. I suggest you join with others who feel the same way you do about helping the homeless and you get together and pool your assets and talent to attack what you view as a problem. But do not imagine that money falls from the sky and lands in the coffers of cities and states to be spent on "problems".

You should also visit a homeless shelter in the near future. It's not just a collection of warm and fuzzy unfortunates who are down on their luck. There are a few genuine hard luck stories. But the majority got there by bad decisions and have no one to blame but themselves. If you want to help them, you are free to do so. You are free to ask others and have fund raisers and bake sales and Kickstarters.

But stop looking for "cities" and "states" to shower free housing on people. Because nothing is free. You are seeking to take money from hardworking people with their own problems who need the money they earned and own more than you do.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:20 AM
 
Location: I am right here.
4,917 posts, read 4,087,714 times
Reputation: 15540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Your logical mistake is thinking that you should take money from private citizens against their will to house the homeless. That is incorrect. If you want to do something for the homeless, it is up to you to take personal money out of your bank account and help them. But it is morally wrong for you to demand that private citizens fork over their money to pay for charity.

Charity should be voluntary and asked for, not mandatory and demanded.

.
But...but....but....it's so much easier to spend OTHER PEOPLE'S money!!!

Quote:
But stop looking for "cities" and "states" to shower free housing on people. Because nothing is free. You are seeking to take money from hardworking people with their own problems who need the money they earned and own more than you do.
Far too many people forget this.
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:24 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,241,351 times
Reputation: 8054
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
....
Charity should be voluntary and asked for, not mandatory and demanded.

.....
But stop looking for "cities" and "states" to shower free housing on people. Because nothing is free. You are seeking to take money from hardworking people with their own problems who need the money they earned and own more than you do.
I understand your concerns, but to some extent society does have the right to tax us in order to provide us with a safety net accessible to anyone who might need it - a form of insurance that even you might come to need some day. It's better than having vast slums as in Calcutta, where starving beggars often die overnight and are collected by street sweepers in the morning, and where orphaned children grow up feral to become the next generation of criminals.

The reason that you have a good job and income is most likely because of the infrastructure and rules of the US, which are supported by people working together for the common welfare. It's unlikely that you have worked harder than your ancestors ....... so why is it you live a much more luxurious lifestyle? It's the entire system supported by taxes and voted in by a majority of citizens, who believe in working for a better future .... which has worked. Just compare us and other liberal societies to nations where there are few rules and restrictions, where there is a vast gap between a few wealthy and the majority living in miserable poverty.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:39 AM
 
12,320 posts, read 15,244,934 times
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Unlike sports teams and huge corporations, they have no lobbies and can spend very little on campaign contributions. Heck, most can't even vote. Public housing projects of the past became war zones. And they were hugely expensive. For what Chicago spent to build housing, they could have moved each family to a new home in the suburbs. And it wanted to spend even more! Of course moving them would have cost votes.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:55 AM
 
4,367 posts, read 3,565,281 times
Reputation: 2926
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Unlike sports teams and huge corporations, they have no lobbies and can spend very little on campaign contributions. Heck, most can't even vote. Public housing projects of the past became war zones. And they were hugely expensive. For what Chicago spent to build housing, they could have moved each family to a new home in the suburbs. And it wanted to spend even more! Of course moving them would have cost votes.
I give up. I'm getting the impression that this is impossible because of bureaucracy and needless red tape. That's discouraging. I guess it didn't hurt to ask, though. I think the only real way to take care of one another was if communities were to band together.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:43 AM
 
769 posts, read 632,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
I was watching a documentary on homelessness in America recently, and now I have a few questions. Why can't cities create low rent or tax subsidized housing for the homeless? It seems like the cities have enough money to provide safe transitional opportunities for people who have a reasonable need. Is it feasible for large cities to do this? If they can do it, why don't they?
If the "cities" did it, it's wouldn't be the "cities" money. It would be you, the tax payer. Want to have an additional $100 or $500 out of your paycheck go to state or federal, or have your property taxes increase $3000 you go right ahead.

And god forbid you find out these homeless people are smoking crack and raping 13 year old woman in your "free" low rent housing. Go for it ! Good idea !
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Old 11-22-2014, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,348 posts, read 12,569,814 times
Reputation: 19618
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
Okay, what, feasibly, could a town or city government do if they wanted to help relieve some of the problems the sound working homeless face? These people would need affordable, not necessarily free, housing, access to public transportation or an affordable alternative, and a means of getting out of their current situation and getting back on track. They don't need to be sleeping in their cars, on buses, or on benches. Even our local governments have surplus funds that could probably be used to do a lot more good than they are currently doing.

The solutions I've proposed, which may not make sense, because I haven't been able to look at it from any informed perspective, are:

Buy foreclosed or condemned properties; fix them to the point they are safe and livable (or just buy or build properties outright, whichever is cheaper and more convenient). Set up a screening system consisting of a drug test and psychological evaluation. Buy bunk beds and second hand furniture (or accept donations); move four people into each bedroom, for a total of twenty people. Charge about one-hundred dollars per month rent, and provide information on job finding, job training, small business training, debt counseling, affordable housing, etc. to make it easier for the resident to transition out of the temporary housing. Allow residents to stay for up to six months to one year; they should be stable by then.

Buy ten or twenty acres of foreclosed rural land, build a large dorm-style shelter that can comfortably hold ten to twenty people, four to a bedroom. Buy small animals, like goats, chickens, and rabbits, maybe a calf or two. Put them in the care of the screened residents after teaching them how to care for them. Have someone trained living with them. Buy several pounds of seed for crops that grow quickly and easily in the climate, like maybe tomatoes and squash. Show the residents how to plant the crops. Have the residents raise the plants and animals for food and trade the other plants and animals raised back to the shelter so that they can sell them to help continue funding the project. Again, encourage residents to transition out of the temporary housing, and only keep them for a maximum of six months to a year.

On paper, it looks good to me, but I'm sure there are holes. Is there anything here that actually makes sense, though?
You should read up on poor farms, which was the welfare system 100 years ago. In urban settings, they were called work houses or poor houses. Your idea of 10 acres being able to support grazing animals is foolish. You would have to import hay and grain continually, except perhaps during the spring flush.
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Old 11-22-2014, 04:46 PM
 
4,367 posts, read 3,565,281 times
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Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
You should read up on poor farms, which was the welfare system 100 years ago. In urban settings, they were called work houses or poor houses. Your idea of 10 acres being able to support grazing animals is foolish. You would have to import hay and grain continually, except perhaps during the spring flush.
It looks like this whole thread was a bit silly. I will admit that I've never lived and worked on a farm. I thought supporting goats and rabbits would be pretty easy, but perhaps I was mistaken.

Anyway, it doesn't look like this discussion is going anywhere. We've already come to the conclusion that starting anything for the homeless would not be a popular idea for the governments, and funding it privately would cost a little too much money unless whole communities got involved. If all of this were done at the community level, and I doubt that would happen because people just don't like uncertainty and unnecessary risk, there would probably be different solutions for different locales. In the places that do not have cheap land and actually have a significant winter, the farm idea would probably not be sustainable. In places that have cheap fertile land and light winters, perhaps the farm idea would work on a limited basis if supported by local farmers in the area. The communities with heavy winters would have to come up with other solutions, like large heated community-funded buildings that stay unlocked all of the time and are designated as okay for the homeless to camp at night. Hey, even free or low-cost showers and clothing storage facilities would be useful, as would small rooms equipped with beds that charge a low fee for a hot shower and a few hours of sleep; it would be a welcome break from sleeping in the car. Plus, it might be a good way for non-profits to make a little extra to fund their other projects.

Last edited by krmb; 11-22-2014 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,348 posts, read 12,569,814 times
Reputation: 19618
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachSalsa View Post
Why do YOU think it is so cheap?!? If it were as cheap as you seem to think, millions of people would be doing it!!

Quality animal food is not cheap. Hutches, coops, barns, shelter...all need routine maintenance. Vetting is not cheap. Equipment is not cheap. How are you going to feel when the cloud of insects descends on your fields and start chomping? Or when the deer and wild rabbits think your crops look pretty tasty? In a large farmer's field, not as big an issue as in a small plot.

Earlier you said equipment (tractors, etc.) would not be needed. Do you have any idea what kind of physical labor is required to till, plant, weed, and harvest fields without equipment? You mentioned gardening (produce) and crops...not all that on 10 acres!! Ten acres is SMALL!! Produce, maybe, but no way will you harvest near enough hay and grain to make a dent in your livestock's needs for a year. Then you mentioned chickens and rabbits.

Farming is HARD WORK. It does not pay well.
Free labor is the key. If you whip them for slacking off, perhaps put them in solitary confinement or deprive them of food if they don't work hard enough, poor farms work well. When slave labor was acceptable in the USA, poor farms were quite popular as a means of taking care of the indigent.
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