Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Homeless in San Francisco

Interesting and not that surprising.

Most homeless have city-funded home
The mayor and others are now admitting what the grand jury reported - that a majority of those on the streets are not homeless. The head of the city's homeless program, Dariush Kayhan, estimates that 50 to 75 percent of street people live in supportive housing.

"We just warehouse addicts," said the grand jury's Stuart Smith. "Granted, it is a nicer place for them, but it doesn't address the problem."

In short, the jury is reflecting the views of many San Franciscans who made the choice to live here. They understood that housing and taxes would be higher, and so would the cost of a meal in a restaurant. They understand and believe that the city needs to provide for its poorest homeless residents and don't begrudge what the grand jury says is $186 million a year in city funds spent to finance homeless programs.

But, they ask, can't someone stop the panhandling? And, given all the programs and services, is it unreasonable to ask those who are being given supportive housing to start making some effort to be self-sufficient?

"People's conduct has to be held to account," Supervisor Bevan Dufty said. "They can't engage in conduct that is hurtful to them or others."

Enforcing that is easier said than done. But it does begin the dialogue.

"I think the grand jury did an excellent job," Kayhan said. "We got people into housing, but we acknowledge that it is now time to make the next step, moving on to jobs, treatment and schools."

1 comment:

Ray said...

It always seems that those on the left lead with their emotions and "come around" only when the facts come to light.

Unfortunately, all they want to do when those facts come to light is spend more of our money on a new emotional response.

Their emotional instincts are rarely correct, and therefore should not be trusted by the voters nor themselves.