no one should be homeless in the usa - bring back boarding houses

Author: n8nrgmi ,

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  • n8nrgmi
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    instead of apartment buildings, build large buildings with lots of rooms in it, with shared kitchens and bathrooms. there's no reason with the current billions we spend on housing, that we can't get everyone who is homeless into a room. 
  • Dr.Franklin
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    homelessness is more of a downard spiral of incidents than just a singular thing fixed by housing
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    then folks can have a place to stay during their downward spiral. boarding houses also makes having a place to stay more affordable for those who aren't homeless. the idea of deregulating to allow landlords to have boarding houses, is a conservative principle that conservatives should embrace. 
  • n8nrgmi
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    well thought out and written article on bringing back boarding houses

  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    how would you determine that?
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    determine what?
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    how would the gov oversite civilians downwarding into homelessness ang giving them a home
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    Interesting how homelessness increases in Blue states, yet you propose a "Blue" program to fix it.
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Put em in hotels at the expense of the taxpayer
  • MisterChris
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    How about we keep gov hands off the housing market and let it fix itself instead of getting worse
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @bmdrocks21 @MisterChris
    the democratic platform is to put as many people as possible on section 8. i dont support that, exactly. except, i support section 8 for boarding houses only. we can house everyone for what we pay now. 

    but at least if we didn't subsidize the homeless, what i'm proposing is a conservative idea. deregulate boarding houses so more people have affordable housing. 

    also, would you prefer to just let homeless people be homeless, instead of thinking of cheap and practical solutions to fix their problem? 
  • MisterChris
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    There are two steps to solve homelessness.

    1. Make business-friendly policies that increase jobs.

    2. Kill the drug trade.

    Homelessness will solve itself if those two conditions are met. 
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    How exactly would these boarding houses differ from regular "section 8" housing? 
  • Intelligence_06
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    houses should be free
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    A large driver of the homeless problem are the liberal policies that encourage poor lifestyle choices.

    1) Rewards for unemployment.
    2) Facilitation for drug use, free needles, no law enforcement
    3) Free food programs at tax payer expense at an enhanced rate for the homeless.

    The local governments tried to make shelters, but they didn't work because it encouraged more drug use.

    deregulate boarding houses so more people have affordable housing. 

    What exactly do you mean by "deregulate boarding houses" 
    Are there people running boarding houses that can't wait to turn it into a drug den but government regulations prohibit them from doing so?
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    boarding houses are illegal in most places. see the article i cited a number of posts above. 
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Interesting how homelessness increases in Blue states, yet you propose a "Blue" program to fix it.

    Exactly.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    Okay I read the article, but providing cheap housing isn't going to fix the problem.

    Local governments already have free shelters that are not being used due to poor lifestyles subsidized by Blue government policies.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    Providing housing while NOT fixing the Blue policies that create the majority of the homeless  is the same as granting amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens without fixing the border security and Blue immigration policies.
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    homelessness occurs mostly due to mental illness and drug abuse. not because of democrats, lol. there's not shelters everywhere, and sometimes it's just not possible possible to find affordable living conditions.... so having cheap housing would help. 

    how exactly do liberals cause homelessness? there might be some effects around the edges, but that's not a big cause. 
  • Greyparrot
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    Mental illness and drug abuse occurs mostly in Democrat run areas with Blue policies that encourage it.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    A large driver of the homeless problem are the liberal policies that encourage poor lifestyle choices.

    1) Rewards for unemployment.
    2) Facilitation for drug use, free needles, no law enforcement
    3) Free food programs at tax payer expense at an enhanced rate for the homeless.

  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    there aren't many rewards to be unemployed and homeless. what are you referring to?

    there are food stamps, but they dont choose to stay homeless to get more food. most of them have mental illness and drug problems. i seriously doubt very many stay dirt poor and homeless to get a little extra food. do you seriously believe this? 

    i dont know how liberals facilitate drug use? what are you referring to? there is the needle program that some places have, but most drug users would just use dirty needles if they can't get clean ones. no one is saying "i wouldn't use drugs, but golly i can get free needles so i can't pass this up!"

    your points dont seem very thought out. 
  • Greyparrot
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    i seriously doubt very many stay dirt poor and homeless to get a little extra food. do you seriously believe this? 

    It's 300 dollars a month for food in my state if you are homeless. That's 2 bigmac meals a day. Black market swaps mean you can get drunk every other day and consume less food.

  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    your points dont seem very thought out.

    California is home to some of the world’s toughest environmental and public health laws, but skyrocketing homelessness has created an environmental and public health disaster. The 44,000 people living, eating, and defecating on the streets of L.A. have brought rats and medieval diseases including typhus. Garbage is everywhere. Experts fear the return of cholera and leprosy.

    And homelessness is making people violent. “We are seeing behaviors from our guests that I’ve never seen in 33 years,” said Bales. “They are so bizarre and different that I don’t even feel right describing the behaviors. It’s extreme violence of an extreme sexual nature. I have been doing this for 33 years and never seen anything like it.”
    Bales says he was one of the people who urged the US Government’s Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to intervene. “We’ve been crying out for a National Guard-like response,” said Bales, whose church provides food, showers, and shelter to 1,350 people camped nearby. In 2016 Bales lost the lower half of his leg to a flesh-eating bacteria from contamination on Skid Row. 

    How did things get so bad in California? The state has long prided itself on being humanistic and innovative. It is home to some of the world’s largest public health philanthropies, best hospitals, and most progressive policies on mental health and drug addiction. The Democrats have a supermajority. What went wrong? 
    According to Bales and other experts, California made homelessness worse by making perfect housing the enemy of good housing, by liberalizing drug laws, and by opposing mandatory treatment for mental illness and drug addiction.

    Other states have done a better job despite spending less money. “This isn’t rocket science,” said John Snook, who runs the Treatment Advocacy Center, which advises states on mental health and homelessness policy around the country. “Arizona is a red state that doesn’t spend a ton on its services but is the best scenario in every aspect. World-class coordination with law enforcement. Strong oversight. They don’t let people fall apart and then return to jail in 30 days like California does.” 
    What happened in California isn’t the first time that we progressives let our idealism get the better of us. To understand how the current disaster unfolded, we have to go back in time, back to the post-World War II era when progressive reformers convinced themselves and others that they could destroy the country’s system for dealing with the mentally ill and replace it with a radically different and wholly unproven alternative.

    A Mania for Reform

    People considered the creation of state mental institutions in the 1800s to be a major progressive reform because they took the mentally ill out of prisons and hospitals and put them into a safer and kinder environment, notes the psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., in his devastating and critically-acclaimed 2014 history, American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness System. 

    In many respects, the mental institutions were a step in the right direction, but by the middle of the 20th Century, their reputation was in tatters. They were understaffed and overcrowded. Some patients were poorly treated, even abused. Others were neglected. During World War II, Mennonites and Quakers worked in the institutions as an alternative to military service. After the war, they drew attention to the deplorable conditions.
    Reformers felt they could do better. In 1945 they proposed community-based clinics not just to treat but also to prevent mental illness. They called for a federal takeover. Congressional advocates frequently invoked the US government’s Manhattan Project as inspiration. If America could build a nuclear bomb in a few years, why couldn’t we prevent and cure mental illness?
    As Congress debated mental health reform in 1946, some were suspicious. “Men get strange ideas,” said Republican congressman Clarence J. Brown of Ohio. “They decide the only way in the world they are going to solve all the problems of mankind is to do a certain thing and that their field is the most important.” Many reformers believed mental illness was created by poverty and inequality and argued that solving it required creating “mentally healthy” environments, organizing tenants, and fighting landlords. 
    These reformers viewed mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as socially constructed and not the result of biology, as most doctors believe today. They sought clinics that would “promote health” and “the development of a resilient character.” They wanted clinics to treat the “totality of [a patient’s] being in the totality of his relationships.” The psychiatrist played a special role, the reformers said. “One might even say,” wrote Francis Braceland, an influential psychiatrist who had studied with Carl Jung, “ the ideal goal of the psychiatrist is to achieve wisdom.”

    The reformers were so confident in their convictions that they smashed the state mental institutions before creating an alternative. The reformers hyped new psychiatric drugs, which reduced the symptoms of schizophrenia, as a bridge to the new system. There was little resistance to the radical changes by existing mental institutions, whose leadership had been demoralized and discredited. And yet there was no evidence that community-based treatment would work. Between 1948 and 1962, the test that clinic reformers pointed to as the model had not prevented a single case of mental illness or treated a single individual with schizophrenia.

    But attacking mental institutions had become hugely popular. In two hugely influential 1961 books, a psychiatrist argued that mental illnesses didn’t exist and a sociologist argued that the institutions themselves created mental illness. One year later, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a novel about a sane but socially maladjusted man who was drugged, electro-shocked, and lobotomized by a mental institution, became a best-seller. In 1967, the film “King of Hearts” depicted psychiatric inmates after World War II as living happily once freed from their asylum. In 1975, the year “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” became a hit film, Michel Foucault argued in Discipline and Punish that mentally ill people had been better off in the Middle Ages when they could roam the streets without being shamed as deviant.

    Over the next two decades, state mental hospitals would empty out. But the vast majority of released patients ended up homeless on the street. Congress had “encouraged the closing of state mental hospitals without any realistic plan regarding what would happen to the discharged patients,” notes Dr. Torrey, “especially those who refused to take medication they needed to remain well.” 

    And yet the reformers were becoming only more radical. “The changes I am talking about,” said a leader at the new National Institute of Mental Health, ” involves a redistribution of wealth and resources… society for the urban poor of such beauty and richness… nothing less than a privilege to be called poor.”

    But when the community mental health clinics did start operating, they tended to treat the easiest-to-treat, not the hardest. It was a trend that worsened the longer the clinics were in existence. The clinic saw “very few individuals with serious mental illnesses,” reported a young psychiatrist working in Santa Monica near LA. “Instead, the patients were people from the community with various personal crises.” 

    In the end, no more than 5% of the federally-funded clinics “made any significant contributions to the care of patients being released from state mental hospitals,” finds Torrey. Financial abuses were rife, with clinics building tennis courts, swimming pools, and rooms for fads like “inhalation therapy” that did nothing for people with schizophrenia.

    When critics faulted the clinics for their abuses, reformers defended themselves behind a wall of political correctness. One reformer-aligned task force that investigated the situation concluded in 1976 that “to criticize the [mental health] centers themselves for many (but not all) of their failings is to ‘blame the victim!’” The Carter Administration recommended making federal support permanent and included new money to prevent mental illness by reducing “societal stresses produced by racism, poverty, sexism, ageism, and urban blight.”  

    Republicans who had initially supported deinstitutionalization as a cost-savings measure became increasingly resentful of what they viewed as an anarchistic approach and sought to cut the budget for mental illness. But as federal support for the clinics declined, the state institutions were no longer in place to care for the homeless evicted to the streets. Everybody was in charge and nobody was in charge. The reformers grew depressed. “The deformed creature that has developed from the original community mental health center movement does not arouse much enthusiasm in any of us who had some more grandiose visions,” said one.
    The problem, Torrey and other advocates for the mentally ill say, wasn’t de-institutionalization but rather the failure to provide new forms of treatment. “The majority of lives were little different than they had had while hospitalized,” he concludes, “and a significant number were considerably worse off.” Many didn’t even realize they were mentally ill, similar to some Alzheimer’s patients. For decades, radical reformers sought de-institutionalization in even the most extreme situations. In 1985, a public defender got a mentally ill client released from jail even though he had been found eating his feces.
    Importantly, reformers never had evidence that community-based clinics would work better than big institutions. They just assumed it in a way that is eerily similar to the way that 1960s environmentalists in California, including Governor Jerry Brown, assumed “small-is-beautiful” policies would be better for the environment. Out of hubris, the reformers sought to smash the old institution before creating a new one. Intriguingly, that’s exactly what reformers would do again in California, 50 years later.