this is the first of the month. it's when people get their g.a check, their ssi check or their ssd check. most all homeless people get one of the three. today was also a day when the friendship house was open fourteen hours due to the bitter cold. so i got my fill of homeless people today. while i was sitting there listening and watching i started thinking about a couple of things. one of them was the number of people there. it was around 100 or so. then i started looking around at the various people. i'd seen all of them before, some of them too many times. while i was watching and listening i sort of did a random sampling or something like a pol, except i was the only responsdent. anyway....i started thinking about how many people in that room were capable of working. if you took out the physical disabilities...which were only two or three, if you took out the complete mental cases....which again were only about three....every single man or woman in that room was capable of working. which brings me around to this....why are they not. then i had to go back to something i don't like to admit....there will always be people who just don't want to and won't work. i'm not going to try to give you the reasons...you already know. the hardliners are right...about some homeless people...they will not and are not going to work. they're perfectly satisfied getting a check every month, living in a mission or shelter, and receiving their food and other commodities from the people and organizations. they're alcoholics, drug addicts, or to be blunt...lazy. it hurt me to write that, but it's true. they are homeless by default or by choice. no way around it.
the other thing i started thinking about was the number of people who receive a check each month. not the g/a check, which is only a very small amount, but a ssi or ssd check. first of all, out of all the people i know that receives a ssi check, i'm going to estimate that 75% of them are fully capable of working. i'm being kind with that percentage. it could be higher if i really srutinized it. so why aren't they receiving supportive or reduced cost housing? because they don't want it. they'd rather drink, do drugs, live in a mission, go to a hotel for a week or two....and do it all over again next month. why? because they don't want to or won't work.
the cost of housing a homeless person in a shelter or a mission, when you include all the abstract and concrete costs is approxiamately 1500 dollars every month. the cost of supportive housing, just for the rent is on the average around 650 dollars. that does not include utilities, food, and other expenses associated with supportive housing. when you add all the cost of supportive housing, both concrete and abstract together the cost probably balloons to around 2000 a month.
homelessness can be ended. snap...just like that. it can be ended for the majority of the homeless population. it can be done as surely as we mobilize for a disaster overseas. it can be done as surely as we prepare and mobilize for war. it can be done as surely as we can evacuate a major city in short notice when a hurricane is approaching. with the wealth and resources of the united states of america, it can be done. but should we? should you? it doesn't matter which approach you take, whether it be housing first, supportive housing, or just out and out giving the homeless people an apartment or a room, you have to ask yourself should we? if you just give them all housing and pay their expenses that would equate to socialism wouldn't it? but wait....giving them supportive housing or a reduced rent is already equating to socialism. giving a ssi check when there's nothing much wrong with them or giving them welfare and food stamps is already socialism isn't it? i think so.
so why am i writing this? because before you can solve homelessness and the problems of the homeless, you have to seriously ask yourself some questions. before you can really debate the problem or discuss a serious solution to the problem, you have to ask yourself some questions and be perfectly blunt and perfectly honest about the homeless and the problem in general. can you eradicate it? no. not without just completely giving the homeless everything...for free. period. will the homeless work and transition back into society as a functioning member of the community. cruelly honest....no...not in most cases. maybe 25 per cent or so. should you cut off all welfare and re-evaluate all current ssi claims and decisions? absolutely...at least to single men and women. should you require drug testing and require welare recipients to work? absolutely.
but here's another question you have to ask yourself. why hasn't homelessness been eradicated....anywhere. why hasn't any program been successful...not in small percentages...but sompletely...anywhere. why after years and years of addressing the homeless situation has no real headway been made. the numbers are increasing. the age brackets are increasing. the gender brackets are increasing. why is that? bluntly honest....money. as long as the chronic homeless have money it isn't going to end, not without you giving them housing...for free...with no strings attached.
here's a question as a you, as a taxpayer, as a contributor, as a supporter, as a proponent or opponent have to ask yourself. how much are you willing to invest and how much are you willing to pay for a human life? how much are you willing to pay to give the homeless a home. regardless of whether they earn it, transition into a contributing member, or fail and go back to being homeless.....how much are you willing to pay. it's really that simple. how much is the government, whether it be local, state or federal is willing to pay to end homelessness. snap....just like that it could be over.
not every homeless person fits the criteria above. there are those who work their way out of it and move on. there are those who are legitimately trying. but there are many....many who are not...who won't...and probably never will. not until they get ssi or ssd. then maybe not. so you have to ask yourself...how much and how long are you willing to pay.
this wasn't an entry i enjoyed writing
see you around town