Berry: Homelessness: Housing is not the Problem

As we all know, government is the cause of homelessness.  High housing costs created by government fees and regulations.  The lack of rehab centers and beds of the druggies and the mentally ill, the acceptance of homelessness by government.  Plus the use of the issue to grow government and control of the population (they can live in cars, they can sleep on your door step, etc.) only creates other problems. 

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“By way of reminder of the magnitude of California’s homeless situation, let’s rehash some statistics:  California has 12% of the country’s population, but 25% of its homeless.  After numerous “affordable housing” bills upending neighborhoods and generating divisiveness, California homelessness decrease by an imperceptible 1% 2017-2018, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

California has the highest income tax rate of any state, and ranks 6th in state and local government spending per capita, with the highest portion of that spending (34.3%) going to health and welfare.

At this point, residents, voters and taxpayers should be asking what else is going on besides gentrification that could account for so much misery they see in the streets. “

The author of this fascinating article is Marcy Berry, a long time read of the California Political News and Views—and first time writer.  Lots of my readers are experts in issues, articulate and great writers—always interested in original pieces.  Thank you Marcy for this eye opening article.

Homelessness:  Housing is not the Problem by Marcy Berry

Marcy Berry, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,   8/5/19 

Homelessness in numbers like we see in California negatively affects more than the homeless.  It spills over to neighborhoods, government services, and taxpayers.  Therefore, it is to everyone’s interest that those who are homeless be helped in getting off the streets.  Obviously, people living without a residence have a housing problem, but simply building more units will not solve their problems

Enriching housing developers’ pockets or emptying out taxpayers’ wallets has clearly not dented the homeless numbers in any significant way.  Perhaps it is time for ordinary residents and voters to weigh in more forcefully in resisting the status quo and insist more effective solutions.

By way of reminder of the magnitude of California’s homeless situation, let’s rehash some statistics:  California has 12% of the country’s population, but 25% of its homeless.  After numerous “affordable housing” bills upending neighborhoods and generating divisiveness, California homelessness decrease by an imperceptible 1% 2017-2018, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

California has the highest income tax rate of any state, and ranks 6th in state and local government spending per capita, with the highest portion of that spending (34.3%) going to health and welfare.

At this point, residents, voters and taxpayers should be asking what else is going on besides gentrification that could account for so much misery they see in the streets.  Here are some suggestions:

Sunrise House Addiction Center has some useful statistics on its website.  It reports that approximately 26% of homeless Americans have some form of mental illness, and nearly 35% are affected by substance abuse.  Injection needles and other drug paraphernalia littering California streets give credence to street drug use. 

Christopher Rufo in a recent City Journal article, “Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis,” says

“Opioids are fueling homelessness on the West Coast” and officials are in denial of facts as they continue to build housing, most of which not even intended for homeless or very low-income residents.

Risks for the general California population go beyond discarded injection needles scattered in common areas.  A report issued February 2019 by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency carried a quote from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging “grantees and partners to address infectious diseases as integral part of the response to the substance use disorders epidemic.” 

Those who abuse illicit drugs often fall prey to unscrupulous entities.  California Senate Bill 1228 was signed into law September 2018.  The bill prohibits “patient brokers” from receiving payment for moving people addicted to drugs from one state to another supposedly in search of drug rehabilitation.  Patients often end up in “sober homes” where they suffer whatever consequences unregulated sites inflict.  Senate Bill 823, also approved September 2018, sets minimum standard requirements for such facilities. 

On the other side of the coin, the drug-abuse industry was probably hoping to be assisted by California Assembly Bill 362, which would allow San Francisco to open “safe injection sites.”  But hearing on the bill was “cancelled at the request of author.”  Maybe there is a limit to how much California is willing to break federal laws after all!

Ultimate proof that what appears to be a thriving homeless industry is indeed profitable, and thus candidate for expansion is Senate Bill 1045, authored by Senator Scott Wiener and signed into law September 27, 2018.  SB 1045 allows the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco to appoint a conservator for persons who are incapable of caring for themselves “due to a serious mental illness and substance use disorder” for the purpose of providing a clinically appropriate alternative for the protection of that person. 

SB 1045 is a potential cornucopia of increased staff and increased funding for the Public Guardian’s office of the named counties; not to mention the drug industry’s potential profits supplying all manner of maintenance, detuning, and general supplies for those in custody.  For the homeless who find themselves under involuntary conservatorship, there will be no escape from the Gulag and no guarantee of effective care.

We are all subject to the devastation brought about by the loss of a job, the onset of an incapacitating event, or our house burning down along with all our possessions. All such factors could land any of us on the street and in need of the kindness of strangers.  Each such factor requires a different type of helping response.

However, what we are experiencing in California appears more like blanket agenda-seeking responses than solutions-oriented ones.  One is almost reminded of California’s other crisis demanding another blanket agenda-seeking response:  climate change.  Is it time for forceful reassessment of California’s homelessness?

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. It is time to call Mad as HELL and I am not going to take it ANYMORE!

    Government is not the solution…Government is the problem!

    First and foremost the American society must declare that living on the streets by anyone for any purpose, unless camping, is against the law. Then go forward from there. It might be nice if begin to follow law and order and even our CONSTITUTION and wisdom therein.

  2. Sebra Leaves says

    Thanks for the thoughtful approach of the author who points out some of the myriad of reasons people wind up on the street. There is no immediate solution to a problem that has been growing for some time. We need to do some soul searching for answers.

  3. us citizen says

    There is an old saying……..give a child and inch and he will take a foot. If CA continues to pander and give out free stuff, it will only get worse. Except for the mentally ill which have no control over their minds, everyone else needs to take responsibility for their own actions and we need to stop babying them. Its called tough love. Its time we started doing that because nothing else is working.

    • Left CA 2019 says

      Agreed! Nothing replaces teaching a child personal responsibility for both choices and decisions. That doesn’t mean we don’t help people–it means we don’t confuse help with enabling behaviors.

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