Commentary by Samuel Strait – March 7, 2023
As we have been endlessly told by “Homeless Experts”, once you get them
housed, then is the time to deal with the issues that found them
homeless. So here we are decades later and the problem continues to
worsen. Recent “Point and Time” surveys locally have shown inspite of
attempting to house a meager few of those homeless, the problem
continues to expand at an ever more rapid pace. Our local homeless
population’s increase appears as a similar problem State wide where
California’s homeless population has increased to the point where it
represents 30% of the entire nation’s homeless population. Some sources
are saying it is much worse, this after spending billions of dollars
trying the obviously failing policies of housing first, before you ask
the homeless to address the problems that created their homelessness in
the first place.
As has appeared in many of the articles appearing in the CCTimes,
housing before the homeless address their respective issues,
particularly in the form of government funded projects, invariably
causes more homelessness. It does; however, appear that one City in
California has figured that out. Coronado, California, a city of about
20,000 on the out skirts of San Diego, has elected to change up the way
homelessness is handled and in a very short period of time can show but
a single homeless person in the city. How did they manage that you might
ask when California’s record is so abysmal?
Quite simply, they have asked the homeless to follow the law or leave.
Gone is the attitude that homelessness must be tolerated with all its
warts. No more permanent encampments or tent cities on the sidewalks.
No longer can you urinate or defecate on the City’s streets without
consequences. Open drug and alcohol use in public is no longer
permitted. Laws of which many of the homeless cannot seem to abide by
have become what is expected and enforced. The permissive attitude of
if only they are housed at taxpayer expense is gone. There are far too
may laws in place already that make homelessness a difficult
undertaking, if they were only enforced.
So what has changed in Coronado? Those that cannot follow the rules
have left for more permissive pastures. About 70% of the previous
homeless population have made that move. Those that wish to change
their life style, about 30%, are given help with their issues only if
they are committed to do so. Nothing like personal investment by the
homeless willing to change their destructive life style insures that the
assistance they receive will put them on the path to being housed. It
is only that individual commitment and correction of destructive
behavior, that will make an actual change for the better and allow for
them to become housed. Coronado’s prescription should be the model
nation wide rather than the current process. Something those in our
County who wish to see a change might just take note.
Homelessness is not something that is of recent origin. It has existed
for thousands of years. Historically the homeless were treated poorly
and it was in their best interests to change their ways. Some did, many
did not. As a result, for the most part homelessness flew below the
radar of much of the human population. This resulted in a much more
serious effort by those who found themselves in such a state to make a
greater effort at correcting their life’s pathways. When housing is
offered without substantive changes in life style, it simply has
“papered over” the issues that each of that population which is homeless
without making the changes necessary to return to becoming successfully
housed. Something Coronado has learned with great success. Something
Del Norte County has yet to learn.
7 thoughts on “The Failure Of Trying To House The Homeless”
The homeless problem is a symptom of extreme capitalism and corporate fascism.
Thank you so very much David! You write with great zeal and conviction, and must have a wealth of experience regarding the topic of solving homelessness. We have much to learn from you. We small rural town simpletons have been struggling to find a cure for homelessness, and your rock-solid resolve lead us to both hopeful anticipation and unbridled excitement. Please share with us the name of the enlightened urban utopia that you live in so we might study your community’s solution to this problem. To save us time, perhaps you can expand upon your thesis statement and explain exactly how extreme capitalism and corporate fascism were eliminated from your city, and then how this seemingly monumental feat correlated with your resulting eradication of homelessness. Our entire community anxiously awaits the identification of your model city, and any further words of wisdom that you might share with us.
We are all disgusted with the homeless situation and all the lawlessness they generate around here. How do we take legal action against city and county officials for allowing it to go this far? The ballot box will never bring change in this good ole boy neck of the woods. Lawsuits targeting the city and county, as well as city council and board of stupidvisors members may be the answer. Just bellyaching has never accomplished anything. Could we join together in a class action lawsuit. Any ideas from those with experience in such lawsuits?
“If a law imposes a particular duty upon a government entity or agency, and that entity or agency fails to fulfill that legal duty, the government can be held liable for injuries caused as a result under the California Tort Claims Act.”
Very good analysis Sam.
Two Words : Sanctioned Encampments
Well put Sam; the Homeless should follow the same laws as the host community or get out of town. However, does our local government want the Homeless problem solved? It is clear that our State government wants the Homeless to remain on the streets.
Homeless camps are a nexus for blight, drug use, health and safety issues, crime, disruption of everyday life and local business closures. All of these negative factors of Homelessness result in falling real estate values and public outrage. Subsequently, the government has the opportunity to declare an emergency, soak the public for additional tax revenues, and funnel those funds into high cost solutions. Who benefits from those high cost solutions? Real estate developer cronies who buy blighted properties for pennies on the dollar and build $100,000 storage shed “Mini-Homes” or $700,000 luxury condos for the homeless. Promoting Homelessness in California is a racket that any local government can participate in; including our own!
There is also a darker side to the Homeless issue; Organized Crime. Drug and human trafficking Cartels from the Southern Border find the Homeless community to be a willing market for their Fentanyl, and also a recruiting ground for prostitution and retail shoplifting rings. San Francisco’s study done in February 2023 found that over half their Fentanyl traffickers were illegal aliens seeking “Sanctuary” status. Illegals that come into the USA across our open border are most often financially in debt to the Border Cartels. They work off their debts by either prostitution, working in illegal drug grows, or selling drugs on the streets. Fentanyl has recently been laced with Xylazine “Tranq,” a large animal tranquilizer “Zombie Drug” that is now a major cause of death among addicts.
Is it unreasonable to ask if government leaders, bureaucrats, and law enforcement might be profiting from organized crime proceeds? It is a fact of life in Mexico, where many of these Cartels originated; “Silver or Lead,” accept a bribe or a bullet. Could this be the reason for our open southern border? Could this be the reason for “Sanctuary” States and Cities?
Many Homeless families were created by the very governments that claim to seek a solution. High taxes that promise to pay for expensive social programs to combat Homelessness and the resulting health and safety ills eat into every family’s budget. Businesses close or move because of government environmental policies, excessive taxes, and other government shake-downs, which results in job loss. Families faced with part-time employment or layoffs face massive inflation for rent, food, fuel and utilities. This sends marginal families over the edge into living out of a trailer, mobile home, or their cars. Then come the inevitable breakdowns or break-ins by criminal elements, blight issues, loss of their vehicular homes and eventual tent encampments. We also have a huge percentage of neglected military Veterans that have so easily “slipped through the cracks.” These are the working Homeless and Veterans that we all want to help. Unfortunately we also have the predatory criminals dumped from our jails and prisons, the untreated mentally ill, and a increasingly large number of illegal aliens; all of which were dumped on our streets by “Equality of Outcome,” Liberal “Humanitarian” government policies.
There can never be a solution to Homelessness until failing government policies end. These failing policies will continue because our Federal, State and Local Governments are as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Homelessness is financially lucrative for everybody in charge, especially the Good-Ole-Boys that put our elected officials in office.
Those who promote Woke Victimhood use it to gain both political and societal power. They need to have a continual source of “victims.” They speak of equity as the answer to society’s woes. They ignore the harm that results from the guaranteed outcomes of “Equity.”
The ever-increasing homeless problem is dramatic proof of guaranteed outcomes trapping individuals in their victimhood. Why try to improve your situation when your behavior is not only accepted, but rewarded?
There are a number of individuals and organizations in Del Norte County which are trying to truly help the homeless. However, the lack of expectations of the homeless dooms any homeless efforts to fail.
The Board of Supervisors has not stepped up and taken a leadership role in this issue. Also, we the voters have not held The Board of Supervisors accountable. Until both these events take place, the issue of homelessness (as well as all the other issues facing our county) will not be dealt with.
Well said. We do need the Board of Supervisors to take the lead and do something.
Our homeless situation will not be dealt with until we the voters demand it.