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U.S. cities crack down on homeless encampments


Eldorado

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Tent encampments have long been a fixture of West Coast cities, but are now spreading across the U.S.

The federal count of homeless people reached 580,000 last year, driven by lack of affordable housing, a pandemic that economically wrecked households, and lack of access to mental health and addiction treatment.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show attempts to clear encampments increased in cities from Los Angeles to New York as public pressure grew to address what some residents say are dangerous and unsanitary living conditions.

But despite tens of millions of dollars spent in recent years, there appears to be little reduction in the number of tents propped up on sidewalks, in parks and by freeway off-ramps.

Full, lengthy, article at MSNLink

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1 hour ago, Eldorado said:

Tent encampments have long been a fixture of West Coast cities, but are now spreading across the U.S.

The federal count of homeless people reached 580,000 last year, driven by lack of affordable housing, a pandemic that economically wrecked households, and lack of access to mental health and addiction treatment.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show attempts to clear encampments increased in cities from Los Angeles to New York as public pressure grew to address what some residents say are dangerous and unsanitary living conditions.

But despite tens of millions of dollars spent in recent years, there appears to be little reduction in the number of tents propped up on sidewalks, in parks and by freeway off-ramps.

Full, lengthy, article at MSNLink

These encampments have NOTHING to do with affordable housing.  Almost all these folks are severe drug addicts and/or mentally unstable.  

The tent encampments have been popping up because leftist politicians don't want to remove them.  As Gov. Newsome showed with Jinping came to SF, they can clean up the cities when they want to.  The other issue is that there was a court case that has been misinterpreted that says these cities can't remove these folks unless they provide other options.

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38 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

As Gov. Newsome showed with Jinping came to SF, they can clean up the cities when they want to.

I wonder what that area looks like now.

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Juneau, Alaska tried loading up all the tents, personal items, etc. and taking them to the dump.  In a subsequent lawsuit, it was determined that their actions constituted an unlawful taking.  The city had to pay each homeless person several thousand dollars.  If you're going to charge somebody with breaking the law, at least don't break the law yourself.

Doug

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I question the logic behind breaking up the homeless camps.  It doesn't solve the root problem, it just makes them scatter untl they can find a new place.

Hmm. Maybe in hindsight, that is what they are trying to do.  If you constantly scatter them, then people won't see them clustered and realize it is a problem.

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57 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

These encampments have NOTHING to do with affordable housing.  Almost all these folks are severe drug addicts and/or mentally unstable.  

Eh, not really true. Look at the places with the highest drug overdose death rate as a proxy for severe addiction (WV, TN, LA). Nobody is posting about their notable homeless problems. People can quietly kill themselves with chemicals in their rat trap double wides.

Affordability, baby.

57 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

The tent encampments have been popping up because leftist politicians don't want to remove them.  As Gov. Newsome showed with Jinping came to SF, they can clean up the cities when they want to.  The other issue is that there was a court case that has been misinterpreted that says these cities can't remove these folks unless they provide other options.

I won't argue that it's not a political problem here. Activist non profits siphoning off public funds don't really want it to get better, and court cases have been bad, as you've noted.

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3 hours ago, Eldorado said:

The federal count of homeless people reached 580,000 last year, driven by lack of affordable housing, a pandemic that economically wrecked households, and lack of access to mental health and addiction treatment.

 

Well, they isolated WHY it was happening but the main way of seeing this problem is an issue with encampments?

People are dense. Literally the things you can fix to minimize the numbers is right there. But good luck.

Failing societies everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Edumakated said:

Almost all these folks are severe drug addicts and/or mentally unstable. 

Your words betray your attitude that it is acceptable to throw away people and because you see them as less-than-human it is permissible to abuse them.

I personally know/knew four addicts.  One was the victim of a failed marriage and abusive husband.  She started taking meth as an escape, but got hooked.  Last spring she tried making it herself, but got caught.  She is now under court supervision and must submit to a daily urine test.  She is on the road to recovery (I think) and is working as a motel maid and restaurant hostess.  At 37 she has absolutely nothing.  She spends everything she gets on rent and food.  Doesn't own a car.

An addict managed to find a job as a busboy at a restaurant.  The restaurant was desperate for help and hired him because he was available.  He had a terrible lack of confidence in himself, but after almost a year, is gradually getting past it.  They offered to make him a waiter, but he doesn't think he can handle the job.

A friend of my daughter's was a hunting afficionado.  He was out hunting with a friend and decided to climb over a fence.  He leaned his gun against the fence.  As he was climbing over, it fell and discharged, killing his friend.  He did not learn.  He had two more similar hunting accidents, killing another friend and crippling a third.  He started drinking.  Then went on to harder stuff.  He wound up doing some jail time and later committed suicide.

A friend of my other daughter was a drug addict; though, I don't know her background very well.  She was in Campfire Girls with my daughters.  Her father was a computer programmer who made good money.  She was in-and-out of minor trouble as a high schooler, but got pregnant (twins) and had to drop out of school.  She became addicted and lost custody of her daughters.  She has now re-gained custody and is running a program to help other addicts recover.

There's a fifth case:  it involves alcohol.  We don't normally consider alcohol a "drug," but it is and it is addictive.  This guy was my boss.  He was a beer drinker and fooled himself into thinking he couldn't get addicted to beer.  His story:  both parents died within two weeks of each other.  About the same time he was promoted to district manager.  Then two of his employees left for greener pastures, leaving him and a secretary as the only employees of the district.  He was under considerable pressure to impress his superiors and tried to keep up production all by himself, making many mistakes, which only made matters worse.  Then his wife divorced him.  The area office got suspicious and called him in for an interview.  He was sure he had fooled them into thinking everything was OK.  Eventually, both his new employees quit and he was assigned to a back-water project and was fired when it was completed.

Two of these people were homeless for a time.  The others all managed to hang onto a place to live.

Don't look down on them because you think you are something special.  There, but for the grace of God, go we all.

Doug

Edited by Doug1066
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33 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

I question the logic behind breaking up the homeless camps.  It doesn't solve the root problem, it just makes them scatter untl they can find a new place.

Hmm. Maybe in hindsight, that is what they are trying to do.  If you constantly scatter them, then people won't see them clustered and realize it is a problem.

They have to break them up and force the people to move periodically because the encampments become health risks, safety and crime dangers to the communities where they get set up.  The longer they are in one place the more filthy and dangerous they become.  I have witnessed small neighborhood parks where people once walked their dogs, held barbecues, sunbathed in, etc. devolve into dirty smelly tent cities and have seen rats running amongst the tents with no fear of the drugged out zombies they are hanging out among.  Why should tax/rent paying responsible people of the area be expected to allow this in their midst? 

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14 minutes ago, OverSword said:

They have to break them up and force the people to move periodically because the encampments become health risks, safety and crime dangers to the communities where they get set up.  The longer they are in one place the more filthy and dangerous they become.  I have witnessed small neighborhood parks where people once walked their dogs, held barbecues, sunbathed in, etc. devolve into dirty smelly tent cities and have seen rats running amongst the tents with no fear of the drugged out zombies they are hanging out among.  Why should tax/rent paying responsible people of the area be expected to allow this in their midst? 

Did any of those parks have outhouses or porta-a-potties?  How many had regular garbage pickup?  How many had running water?  Do ANY parks in your areas have these?  How about tiny houses?

Sounds to me like you're just too cheap to solve the problem.

Doug

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28 minutes ago, Doug1066 said:

Did any of those parks have outhouses or porta-a-potties?  How many had regular garbage pickup?  How many had running water?  Do ANY parks in your areas have these?  How about tiny houses?

Sounds to me like you're just too cheap to solve the problem.

Doug

Sounds to me like you have no clue what you are talking about

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I remember watching a video where a district in San Franciso put some homeless in apartment buildings to get them off the streets.

But some went back out in the streets because they didn't like the rules. Probably 1 rule was, no drugs.

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15 minutes ago, OverSword said:

That would be $1316 per resident spread over ten years - $131.60 a year.

You still sound cheap to me.

 

The problem on the West Coast goes back to bad building codes.  The wealthy homeowners don't want inexpensive housing in their neighborhoods, so they put in a lot of expensive building requirements and require lots of red tape.  Construction companies can't make a profit and shut down - thus, no new housing.

Those codes require Douglas-fir framing when there are many woods that are strong enough.  But that's what happens when you ask the Douglas-fir manufacturer's Association what wood to use.

Doug

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21 minutes ago, Doug1066 said:

That would be $1316 per resident spread over ten years - $131.60 a year.

You still sound cheap to me.

 

The problem on the West Coast goes back to bad building codes.  The wealthy homeowners don't want inexpensive housing in their neighborhoods, so they put in a lot of expensive building requirements and require lots of red tape.  Construction companies can't make a profit and shut down - thus, no new housing.

Doug

Check your numbers about only half the population in the city  pay taxes.  Out of the 419,000 tax paying citizens in Seattle we pay about $230 a year averaging over the last decade. How much more of my tax dollars should be dedicated to enabling the homeless?  Also the state will spend an additional $111million on Seattle homelessness this year alone.  What city do you live in?  Look up your own numbers Doug, I would be interested in how much more your city and state spends than we who are simply too cheap to fix the problem.  What has become abundantly clear here is that throwing money at homelessness does not fix the problem.  Not the way it's being spent now but since we just elected a whole new city council that believes our current policies mainly enable the chronically homeless we will see how things change.

Edited by OverSword
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55 minutes ago, OverSword said:

Check your numbers about only half the population in the city  pay taxes.  Out of the 419,000 tax paying citizens in Seattle we pay about $230 a year averaging over the last decade. How much more of my tax dollars should be dedicated to enabling the homeless?  Also the state will spend an additional $111million on Seattle homelessness this year alone.  What city do you live in?  Look up your own numbers Doug, I would be interested in how much more your city and state spends than we who are simply too cheap to fix the problem.  What has become abundantly clear here is that throwing money at homelessness does not fix the problem.  Not the way it's being spent now but since we just elected a whole new city council that believes our current policies mainly enable the chronically homeless we will see how things change.

The issue is spending money on ineffective solutions that don't get to the root of the problem.  Most of the solutions never address the behavioral issues and often times just further enable it.

We need forced rehabilitation and we also have to bring back looney hospitals.  We also have to accept the reality that some of these folks will never be able to function in society.

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Well I guess because there are no homeless camps in West Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina they are not really the nexus of the fentanyl  addiction and death spiral in the US.  As long as they don't congregate, they can just die in peace.

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2 hours ago, Doc Socks Junior said:

Eh, not really true. Look at the places with the highest drug overdose death rate as a proxy for severe addiction (WV, TN, LA). Nobody is posting about their notable homeless problems. People can quietly kill themselves with chemicals in their rat trap double wides.

Affordability, baby.

I won't argue that it's not a political problem here. Activist non profits siphoning off public funds don't really want it to get better, and court cases have been bad, as you've noted.

I'm sure there are some nuances in the data.  There are shelters and affordable housing in many big cities but the reality is that the homeless don't want to live under the rules which is often no drug use.  It isn't an affordable housing issue.  Affordable housing implies that the individual has some measure of personal responsibility and can actually hold down a job which know isn't the case.  You literally can have homeless bums standing out front of a business begging while the business is offering $15/hr to no skill fast food workers.  

We agree, there is an entire homeless industrial complex that profits off this issue.  They get millions in grant money which is then used to pay salaries of activists, etc while only a small fraction actually helps the homeless.

 

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What we need is to build a wall along southern border.  Then make all the homeless, convicts, and Hunter Bidens "take the black" like the Nights Watch to protect the border.  lol...

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12 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Well I guess because there are no homeless camps in West Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina they are not really the nexus of the fentanyl  addiction and death spiral in the US.  As long as they don't congregate, they can just die in peace.

How would you handle the problem?

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6 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

What we need is to build a wall along southern border.  Then make all the homeless, convicts, and Hunter Bidens "take the black" like the Nights Watch to protect the border.  lol...

Bus them to Texas, you say?  I suppose that would give them income by letting them smuggle drugs and migrants in.

Not sure very many conservatives would go for your plan, however.

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39 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Well I guess because there are no homeless camps in West Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina they are not really the nexus of the fentanyl  addiction and death spiral in the US.  As long as they don't congregate, they can just die in peace.

The point was sort of missed in the reply to my previous post, but you've got it.

Bill Joe and Jean can rent some land for a few hundred a month in cash to their landlord, which they easily get by a combination of panhandling and theft. Thus, they have a nice private place to melt their brain and die.

Hey, no homeless encampments though.

California needs more run down trailer parks, I guess. That would help.

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39 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

I'm sure there are some nuances in the data.  There are shelters and affordable housing in many big cities but the reality is that the homeless don't want to live under the rules which is often no drug use.

There are always nuances in data.

You are correct in that many homeless people don't want to live under rules set at various housing options. Things should get involuntary in that case, in my opinion.

39 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

  It isn't an affordable housing issue.  Affordable housing implies that the individual has some measure of personal responsibility and can actually hold down a job which know isn't the case.  You literally can have homeless bums standing out front of a business begging while the business is offering $15/hr to no skill fast food workers.

I still differ in this. If housing is affordable enough, the panhandling and theft that these people do would be enough to allow them a nice private "no-rules" place where they can melt their brain and unfortunately eventually die. Hence why we don't hear of similar problems with large encampments in poor environments in the aforementioned states. Is that a better solution? Perhaps not. Is it even true that there isn't a homeless problem in economically-depressed areas in moocher states? I suspect not, in fact.

39 minutes ago, Edumakated said:

  We agree, there is an entire homeless industrial complex that profits off this issue.  They get millions in grant money which is then used to pay salaries of activists, etc while only a small fraction actually helps the homeless.

It's nice to agree!

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1 hour ago, OverSword said:

Check your numbers about only half the population in the city  pay taxes.  Out of the 419,000 tax paying citizens in Seattle we pay about $230 a year averaging over the last decade. How much more of my tax dollars should be dedicated to enabling the homeless?  Also the state will spend an additional $111million on Seattle homelessness this year alone.  What city do you live in?  Look up your own numbers Doug, I would be interested in how much more your city and state spends than we who are simply too cheap to fix the problem.  What has become abundantly clear here is that throwing money at homelessness does not fix the problem.  Not the way it's being spent now but since we just elected a whole new city council that believes our current policies mainly enable the chronically homeless we will see how things change.

Statewide, 3,944 people are homeless (2022 data).  The low number may have something to do with our abysmal winters.  Not all that cold most of the time, but high humidity makes Arizona look a lot better.  It may also have something to do with the tribes.  These provide low-cost affordable housing to their members; thus, most tribal members are not homeless.

In town there are seven places offering shelter to the homeless.  Four of these are HUD projects, so one has to have a job to qualify, even if that job doesn't pay very much.

There is no count of the homeless here.  At best, all we have is a guess:  264 people.  That's 0.5% of the population.  The tax burden in 2022 was $696 per resident (Mostly sales tax; includes all city functions).  There is no line item for aide to the homeless.  That number is hard to determine, anyway, as there are many charities and agencies involved in the work.  The major homeless programs are the City of Hope and the Housing Authority.  Between them, they can probably handle about 100 people.

If you paid another $462 a year in taxes, you would be on a par with us.  You complain about the "lefties" in Seattle raising your taxes to pay for housing programs, yet you aren't even close to Oklahoma's "conservative" taxes.  I'm wondering what you will find when you get to North Dakota.

Doug

 

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1 hour ago, Edumakated said:

What we need is to build a wall along southern border.  Then make all the homeless, convicts, and Hunter Bidens "take the black" like the Nights Watch to protect the border.  lol...

Most of our "illegal" immigrants come here legally, then overstay their visas, some by a decade or more.  A wall will not stop that.  They will just get a piece of paper that lets them go through it.  A wall is a useless pork-barrel project for politicians' friends.

Doug

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