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Old 11-18-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
There are basically three kinds of homeless people.

1. People who are homeless, but normal - just down on their luck. Many of these people have jobs. They sleep in their car, or couch surf at friends and families. If they found affordable housing, they mostly would be able to make rent and pay their bills.

2. The crazy and/or those addicted to drugs (including alcohol). This is most of the people you see on the streets in northern cities with harsh winter climates (discounting some panhandlers - the ones with good hygiene often actually have somewhere to live). They should be in an institutional setting, but we don't allocate enough money to social services to ensure this.

3. The "homeless by choice" - including young gutter punks/crusties and older "survivalist" types who want to live off the grid. Generally people who are homeless by choice will migrate to the south or west coast - no one with a choice wants to live on the streets in a city with harsh winters. I do wonder how much gentrification is pushing these folks out of their traditional haunts though - walkable neighborhoods are ideal if you don't have a home or a car, but actual places to squat in many cities are becoming limited.
1. This is the only demographic in which I'm interested and think the cities should provide shelter for. People who have had their homes foreclosed, people who were laid off of their jobs, college students who couldn't find work after graduating, those who are working but aren't making enough to afford shelter, and generally anyone else willing to work and do well for themselves but, for whatever reason, are down on their luck and need an affordable place to stay, not a hotel room or a "pay-by-week" deal which often charges the poor working homeless more money than they make just to put a roof over their heads. It's disgusting how they treat people in transitional stages.

2. This demographic needs another solution. I don't want the insane or those addicted to dangerous chemical substances living near me, and I don't think any other sound individual would want that, either. Besides, putting these people with sane individuals and allowing them to be loose in normal society would not be doing them a favor, either. These people need to be caught and institutionalized, not allowed to roam the streets and definitely not given free housing so that they can continue feeding their problems. These are the kinds of people I hope a thorough screening program would block from entering and hopefully redirect to the services they really need.

3. The "homeless by choice" usually do not seek shelter in cities and normally live on farms and other rural areas. Most aren't really considered homeless because they have found ways to create environmentally friendly shelters, resorted to long-term "camping," or have found other workable ways to live off of the land and take care of themselves without relying on "the system." If they are sound, resourceful, and not afraid of a little hard work, though, they could probably be an asset to my target demographic and may not be excluded as long as they are employed and genuinely have no other options; however, with this demographic, it's rare for them to not have other options. Is there a five-hundred dollar van on Craigslist? This type of homeless guy will buy it, park it on a neighbor's land, and turn it into his new five-star shanty, if he has the option.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
1. This is the only demographic in which I'm interested and think the cities should provide shelter for. People who have had their homes foreclosed, people who were laid off of their jobs, college students who couldn't find work after graduating, those who are working but aren't making enough to afford shelter, and generally anyone else willing to work and do well for themselves but, for whatever reason, are down on their luck and need an affordable place to stay, not a hotel room or a "pay-by-week" deal which often charges the poor working homeless more money than they make just to put a roof over their heads. It's disgusting how they treat people in transitional stages.
It should be noted another down on their luck group who ends up homeless - at least temporarily - are those who have family disputes. For example, a disturbingly high percentage of gay teenagers, when they come out, are kicked out of their home and spend at least some time living on the streets. Someone older than a teen would have the social resources to deal with being evicted from their parents, but if they don't have extended family who takes their side, or a friend with understanding parents, they are just out of luck. These people don't stay on the streets forever, but it isn't fun for them when they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
2. This demographic needs another solution. I don't want the insane or those addicted to dangerous chemical substances living near me, and I don't think any other sound individual would want that, either. Besides, putting these people with sane individuals and allowing them to be loose in normal society would not be doing them a favor, either. These people need to be caught and institutionalized, not allowed to roam the streets and definitely not given free housing so that they can continue feeding their problems. These are the kinds of people I hope a thorough screening program would block from entering and hopefully redirect to the services they really need.
There was an interesting case of this in the local press. Someone decided to gift a homeless guy of the crazy bum variety a house in a declining, but not totally ghetto neighborhood. So he ended up with a home, but no source of income or any way to take care of it. The property became littered with garbage, in part due to his carelessness, and in part because he was trying to use it to insulate the unheated walls in winter. Since he had no running water, he relieved himself in jars and took them into the backyard to dump. He basically just lived in the basement of the house and left the rest of it unoccupied. While the neighbors knew he was harmless, they hated the stench his property caused on the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
3. The "homeless by choice" usually do not seek shelter in cities and normally live on farms and other rural areas. Most aren't really considered homeless because they have found ways to create environmentally friendly shelters, resorted to long-term "camping," or have found other workable ways to live off of the land and take care of themselves without relying on "the system." If they are sound, resourceful, and not afraid of a little hard work, though, they could probably be an asset to my target demographic and may not be excluded as long as they are employed and genuinely have no other options; however, with this demographic, it's rare for them to not have other options. Is there a five-hundred dollar van on Craigslist? This type of homeless guy will buy it, park it on a neighbor's land, and turn it into his new five-star shanty, if he has the option.
I'm more familiar with the whole nest of a dozen punks sleeping on floors in an abandoned building thing. One of my older brother's friends did a stint as this in Berkeley back in the 1990s. He decided to give up the lifestyle when one of his squatmates woke up one morning, went crazy, and killed his girlfriend - and then asked the rest of the crew to help him bury the body. He called his dad the next day and went home. He sells used cars now.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:28 AM
 
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Most people who are mentally ill don't need to be hospitalized. But if you are mentally ill and live on the street, your illness will get dramatically worse. Being homeless can make you crazy, in a very literal sense. Same goes for drug addiction--someone who drinks a little too much under normal circumstances will often become a roaring drunk on the streets. Being homeless means a daily struggle for survival--and other issues like remembering your meds or staying sober become secondary considerations to not dying of exposure, starvation, or brutalization by predators.

kmb501, you're falling victim to the same mentality that keeps homelessness such a serious problem, and a revolving door for so many people. Housing first makes every other problem easier to treat--and generally makes things like institutionalization unnecessary for most people.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Cities have plenty of money, it's just that they spend it on other things, largely employee salaries and benefits. I think the only way to ensure money is spent on housing is to dedicate 1 percent of property tax increases to housing.
So tax dollars should be used to house losers, instead of paying folks to keep the city running.

Seriously?
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:55 AM
 
Location: USA
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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.
What are you doing to help make this happen? Have you presented ideas to the city council in the city where you live? That's how things get done.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Most people who are mentally ill don't need to be hospitalized. But if you are mentally ill and live on the street, your illness will get dramatically worse. Being homeless can make you crazy, in a very literal sense. Same goes for drug addiction--someone who drinks a little too much under normal circumstances will often become a roaring drunk on the streets. Being homeless means a daily struggle for survival--and other issues like remembering your meds or staying sober become secondary considerations to not dying of exposure, starvation, or brutalization by predators.

kmb501, you're falling victim to the same mentality that keeps homelessness such a serious problem, and a revolving door for so many people. Housing first makes every other problem easier to treat--and generally makes things like institutionalization unnecessary for most people.
I was thinking more in terms of those hopelessly addicted to dangerous drugs like crack cocaine and meth amphetamine. The image I have of the drunk is the chronic drunk who would sell his day labor for an alcohol binge. When I was thinking about the mentally ill, I was envisioning schizophrenics, who have no business living on their own anyway. If I still have the wrong impression, enlighten me. I think those with problems and those without should be separated.To me, it makes no sense to put the sound homeless with the deranged. There should at least be a separate shelter for the sick, and the government should see to that.

Last edited by krmb; 11-18-2014 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:45 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
3. The "homeless by choice" usually do not seek shelter in cities and normally live on farms and other rural areas. Most aren't really considered homeless because they have found ways to create environmentally friendly shelters, resorted to long-term "camping," or have found other workable ways to live off of the land and take care of themselves without relying on "the system."
Portland and San Francisco have a large population of both. They vary from interesting people to nuisances. While they're less sympathetic to population 2 (mentally ill / drug addicts) they're often less irritating. While #2 are sad cases, some can be unpleasant to have around. There's a loud woman who walks on the downtown street and rides the local buses who yells at no one in particular. Or this:

Homeless camp again scene of trouble in Northampton; theft probe leads to heroin arrest in Meadows | GazetteNet.com

A police hunt for a stolen bicycle Saturday took officers into a clearing off Hockanum Road. There, they say, they found their suspect using a spoon for “cooking” a shot of heroin, which he swallowed when he saw an officer approaching.

Though some of the "homeless by choice" have drug habits, but they're usually not as dirty or obviously off.

I visited Spain recently. While Spain does have its own issues, one thing I noticed was the lack of homeless and mentally ill in the center cities. Nothing like many American cities, let alone something like the Tenderloin in San Francisco.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:50 AM
 
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Many have more problems than just not having a job such as drugs; alcohol and mental problems. We at one time had mental hospitals but they were shutdown by courts. They thought it better to release them into freedom on the streets. Last I knew there were places to stay but also many of those people on drugs; alcohol or mental causes problem meaning they are not allowed to benefit those that are just homeless. But then perhaps the question arises as to why governments are expected to do it and fund it also. Once government gets involved it complicates things by regulations and those who do it add cost not spent on homeless.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Just to put in my two cents... maybe it sounds strange but sometimes i believe the government just should raise a "tent village" for homeless and so on.

Just build up some of that for example.

source

Better way than letting them build up their abode somewhere people can get annoyed.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:41 PM
 
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Because landlords are too greedy and tax money has to come from somewhere.
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