What to do about the homeless in California

This topic contains 12 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  PhysAl 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #176946

    EGL Admin
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    The State Senate is proposing a $2 billion bond to help deal with the homeless in California. Housing would be built for them. There would also be $200 million spent on rent subsidies for them over a 4 year period. This all sounds great, but if they are homeless they are not going to be able to pay any rent most likely. For some being homeless is a choice, or it’s because they are mentally ill and unable to keep a place to stay because they can’t afford it or don’t know how to take care of themselves. What’s going to happen to these homes built for them? Who is going to maintain them and keep them clean? You don’t think they will damage the homes and maybe sell the appliances and furniture for parts? I don’t know what the answer is, but this seems like another issue where money is thrown at a problem where there is going to be minimal oversight. The people behind prop 63 which is supposed to help people with mental illness are not in favor of this because there is no oversight for the money and no accountability according to the state auditor. They will build a few homes and hail how great it is and then turn it loose to be managed by some bureaucrats who will just hand out the money. The City of Sacramento is dealing with some major issues now with the homeless camping near city hall. The police were called in and cited the homeless campers, but they are still there.

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article52957540.html

  • #291229

    violarose
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    I know, who is going to keep them clean I asked my husband. I am very much for the homeless. but sometimes I do think we might just be throwing our money away. There are many out there who clearly are mentally unstable. It’s tough, it’s hard. thats a lot of money. I want it to work out, and I hate being a naysayer, but I just don’t see the plan is futile.

  • #291224

    LC
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    The best solution is housing, but not managed by the public sector, because they have no incentive to turn the beds over and get those in the shelters in a training/education program and ultimately a job. That’s what private charities do, and that’s who should be getting the funds to do it. This is nothing more than a real estate play for the state.

    Estimates from those who study the homeless are about a third are serial drug.alcohol abusers and need more hospital rehab than housing, another third are there by choice and don’t want any help, and a third are there because of bad choices or unfortunate circumstances, maybe even beyond their reasonable control, and those are the target group for housing and training.

    Without strings, housing is simply a band aid. With a work or training requirement there is a pretty strong incidence of getting them off the streets and being productive.

  • #291220

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    @lc 122776 wrote:

    Without strings, housing is simply a band aid. With a work or training requirement there is a pretty strong incidence of getting them off the streets and being productive.

    I agree. Otherwise what have you done? Who’s going to pay for the utilities? When you “give” someone something they often don’t appreciate it and don’t take care of it. Giving housing to the homeless, I guarantee in a couple of years those home will be a mess.

  • #291231

    Bainc
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    I watched a program on PBS in the last month or two about a small non profit building and giving away homes in a rough area of Detroit. All the recipient had to do was pay the utilities. Within a year or two the house was a drug house and completely trashed. The house was now vacant. The guy who built the house had very noble intentions and was left pondering how can this work because giving things away for free clearly wasn’t working.

  • #291226

    newmom
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    This effort is solely for homeless, mentally ill people. Not just homeless. These are people that need medical help first and foremost. They have most likely chosen to discontinue medications, cut themselves off from family (support groups), etc. These aren’t your “down on their luck” people. What measures will be taken to ensure these aren’t dangerous people? What about making sure they stay on their meds? Are they employable? With all sincerity, some kind of low level institution would be better, where they can be monitored.

    In an opening to this year’s budget negotiations at the Capitol, Senate Democrats on Monday proposed a $2 billion bond to build homes for homeless people with mental illnesses.

  • #291225

    LC
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    That tidbit Doc didn’t include in his summary and yes, that certainly does change the intent. I agree a low level institution would be appropriate, but then that doesn’t spread them out in regular communities and that’s what the State Dems want. There’s also an argument that the existing mental health programs should be fixed before the bond is floated.

  • #291221

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    This will not be just for mentally ill homeless people.

  • #291227

    newmom
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    There looks to be several plans in process. Mentally ill homeless are an entirely different issue than straight up homeless. They can’t and won’t just blend into out communities. They are homeless for a reason and have shown staying on their meds and caring for themselves doesn’t work. Let’s face it-they can get their meds for free, so access to medication isn’t the problem. Plus, they have to WANT help. Because of their illness, they won’t accept help, or if they do, it’s short term, only to stop taking their meds again.

  • #291222

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    I don’t know what you do about those people. We know a couple of families that have dealt with this issue for their adult kids and they won’t take their meds. One family was sneaking it into their son’s food. He is bi-polar. When he takes them, he is fine, but then he doesn’t think he needs them so he stops and then he gets bad, but of course doesn’t realize he needs to take his meds. It’s like a vicious cycle.

  • #291228

    newmom
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    It is a horrible cycle and so hard for families to deal with. Som many end up homeless because they refuse rot skeptical their meds and then can’t hold a job. That’s why living with on their own isn’t an option if they have already proven they won’t continue taking their meds. Very few of the mentally ill homeless have no family or no support group. People have tried to help them and convince them to come home and take their meds and they won’t.

  • #291223

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    I think at some point people just give up. I think if you’re a single person and not mentally ill, you almost have to want to be homeless unless you have no friends or family and are lazy.

  • #291232

    PhysAl
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    I remember years ago when I lived in the bay area that they were shutting down the Presidio. There was an article in the Chronicle that was asking what could be done with the property. One of the ideas was to collect all the homeless and bring them there and sort them into those who were mentally ill, drug/alcohol addiction, able but down on their luck, ect… then to find trainers, counselors, advocates, and bring in services to aid them. This didn’t go well with ACLU and homeless advicates, but after the last 20+ years, probably would have been money well spent. (and a lot less than had been spent anyways and maybe helped some people too)

  • #291230

    violarose
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    That is what I think they should of done, PhysAl. Too bad they didn’t.

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