Portland 'vortex of misery'

“The plan, composed of five resolutions, would create six large city-approved camping sites, build 20,000 units of affordable housing, and allow Portland leaders to prohibit unsanctioned camping on city streets. After an amendment introduced by Commissioner Carmen Rubio, the council agreed to cap the size of the camps at 250 people rather than the earlier proposed maximum of 500.”

DB2

4 Likes

Look around, There are homeless camps in every city and town. It’s unbelievable, I really can’t believe how many areas of this country are having the problem. I was up in Montana this summer, they never, ever had a homeless problem. They had people living under the bridges and shooting up with needles, unbelievable. I asked around and they said it was a problem year round.

So, America has a homeless problem and the question is what are we going to do about it?

Andy

3 Likes

Well, one thing that needs to be done is to help them with mental health issues. And health issues in general. Mentally and physically healthy people are more likely to be able to hold down a job and provide for their own housing and food.

One might suggest some form of universal health care as a step in the right direction on homelessness. Or, at a minimum, updating Medicare and/or Medicaid to reflect the current realities. If you have more than $2000, you lose your Medicaid eligibility. If you want to rent a small apartment or room, that might not be enough to cover the deposit and first month’s rent. And that makes it really hard to get out of homelessness. Just getting a job while homeless is hard. Employers don’t like to hire people without an address.

Unfortunately, the chances of any change to our health care system are vanishingly small.

And to be clear, there is a lot more to do than just deal with health care. But I believe that any purported homeless solution that doesn’t address health care in some way is doomed to fail.

–Peter

6 Likes

I think there is lots more to this than just mental health. Closing the mental hospitals in the '70s was definitely a mistake. The result left many out in the cold with little support. We need to do better.

But of course poverty is also a factor. People who cannot afford housing. Living in their car or tents.

I’m surprised that homelessness is a problem in Montana. Warm climates with mild weather must be much more attractive. You wonder if hobos still ride the freight trains? Or do they hitchhike?

Being homeless, living on the streets in Minneapolis in winter has to be difficult. Impossible for women with children.

I’d have to say lower the tax rate on high income individuals, and cut the corporate tax rate.

That should about do it.

9 Likes

Allow homeless people to legally live on any/all properties owned (directly or indirectly) by the alleged JCs. Solves two problems.

3 Likes

I wonder how many of them are mentally ill, and became homeless because of that. Versus becoming mentally ill AFTER becoming homeless due to other reasons. But, I’ll agree with you, we need better health care in general, mental and otherwise.’

In Austin we de-criminalized homelessness and allowed people to camp anywhere. So they came out of, wherever they were, and you’d start seeing them in alarming numbers at virtually every underpass. What I was hoping was people would say “wow, we have a lot of homeless people, what needs to be done to help this?”. Instead people said “we liked it better when we didn’t see them so much”. :frowning:

This isn’t a problem people seem to want to solve or fix. Its a problem they want hidden.

6 Likes

Michigan defunded mental health too. So now, the ill wander the streets until they run afoul of the law. The County Jails are now the defacto mental health wards, which transferred the cost of care from the state budget to the counties. Wonder what the (L&Ses) in Lansing did with all that money they took away from mental health?

The poor get a lecture on “personal responsibility”. We heard that again from a (thought leader) only a few days ago.

Of course, in the Shiny-land of today, a major health care/mental health program is deemed socialistica/communistical, therefore unacceptable.

In “Demolition Man” they were called “scraps”.

Steve

8 Likes

In addition to mental health issues there are serious drug problems. Would a focus on drug use/abuse be possible?

DB2

2 Likes

A few days ago, (a thought leader) advocated quick trial and execution for all drug dealers. The push doesn’t seem to be rehabbing people, but, rather, the puritanical “traditional value” of punishment.

Steve

4 Likes

As soon as a white collar dealer was arrested, “HE’S DIFFERENT”!!!

3 Likes

Would the definition of “drug dealer” apply to “pill mills” and those filling the prescriptions? How far down the chain would this go?

2 Likes

The problem for kids who buy any drug is the cost. Immediately one kid says to the next, “let’s split the bill”. Then you automatically have two budding drug dealers who are nothing more than recreational users. Politically you can not approach parents and explain we are going to execute your sick child. Life just does not work that way.

But lets call it out we do this as a society to black families non stop.

1 Like

Thanks guys for the responses on executions and pill mills, but that was a serious question. A lot of the crime around homeless is from people supporting their habits, and the LA Times reported that gangs were supplying the homeless camps with drugs. Then there is the interaction/overlap of drugs and mental illness. So, the question is: would focusing on reducing drug usage provide a handhold on reducing the ‘vortex of misery’?

DB2

1 Like

Instead of focusing on traditional police methods of “reducing drug usage” (because they have worked so well, ha ha), perhaps another avenue would be to look all around the world and what other solutions have been tried and if they work.

It goes everywhere from the “drug dealer? Execute them by sundown” societies of Iran and Singapore and Korea to the ultra permissive Dutch and Scandinavian approaches.

I’m not sure about the latter, but I am absolutely sure that I don’t want to be in a society which embraces the former, because it never ends with “just drugs”. Very quickly it becomes intolerance of any deviation or thought which does not conform to the rigid precepts of Dear Leader, whoever he or she may be.

Don’t have an answer, but I’m not sure we’re asking the right questions, either.

8 Likes

Homelessness is a complicated and multifaceted issue. Drugs are some part of that.

We already have various laws regarding drugs. Those don’t seem to be particularly effective at reducing homelessness.

Treatment for addiction might be more helpful. I’d lump that under the general category of health care.

Which is why I advocate for universal access to health care - both physical and mental.

—Peter

2 Likes

But we do that with brown people endlessly. And even saying so is resented by the majority.

The “thought leader” I was listening to a few days ago, spoke glowingly of the policies in Singapore and China. Plenty of people in Shiny-land think that way. A neighbor of mine, a follower of that “thought leader” advocates execution for everyone convicted of a felony. His reasoning is that, after release from prison, most felons commit another crime, so kill them all on their first offense is his solution.

Not only the policies in western Europe, but cities in the US that provide “safe injection sites”, as an example, are defined as part of the problem, by a large part of the US population.

From what I see and hear, a large part of the population would be perfectly fine with a Stalinist approach to conformity and punishment. Providing any sort of treatment is weakness.

Steve

2 Likes

Some do say the association between mental health issues and treatment for drug addiction is one of the reasons state legislatures in red states resist or even oppose more funding.

They see drug addiction as a voluntary disease.

2 Likes

Yup. Addicts are one of the cohorts that the lectures about “traditional family values” and “personal responsibility” are aimed at.

Steve

2 Likes