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Homelessness


William Ashley

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Homelessness is something largely caused by education, lifestyle and finances in my opinion. People either don't have the ins to live a normal life, or don't have a normal life they want to live.

In BC this is costing $1000+ a day to the tax payer, per person who they take on. People can rent an apartment for a month for that cost. It is absurd that diversion programs don't exist with social workers, who are notified, so they can insure tax savings to the tax payer. I know as a fact this same sort of thing is not unusual in places such as Ontario. I think a large portion is because the impoverished are seen as cattle, and social housing isn't something that is strongly enough developed, and the costs add up elsewhere because of it.

Part of my poverty eradication plan that I have been sharing is to insure that people have a means to a stable lifestyle that can allow them to live regular lives, along side a right to work - the two together social housing with managed employment - a work house more or less, is a means of doing this. Also it seems humanitarian to keep people in a hospital rather than release them to a jail, but don't homeless shelters exist in Vancouver? It really doesn't make sense why this is happening (or a bed costs $1000, it almost seems like an abuse by the hospitals to put taxpayers on the tab when lifestyle is a concern rather than actual health conditions. It seems to me more that they may be filling a bed because it would be empty anyway and charging the tax payer for it. But I could be mistaken on this. Anyone with more insight into this? I've known this type of thing to last for weeks so you are talking $14,000 - nearly someones income at the poverty line --- of tax payer funds to keep someone in a hospital instead of providing them with a community start in a more normalized life. And one of the leading causes to programs is removing people from the normal system, the more the divergence, the likely the more it will cost the taxpayer, and the less contributing that person will be in society.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Homeless+housed+hospital+beds/3828350/story.html

Clearly something isn't working with this, why havn't communities set up social housing? And if they have why is this still happening. Even a barracks would cost less to the tax payer. Are there not enough shelters out there? Not enough social housing for long term living, not enough programs of social building. These don't need to be at great cost, and $1000 a day beds is absurd, they arn't even comfortable and the food is horrible. You could fly them to Mexico to hostle for a month with meals for less than $1000 for a month.

Edited by William Ashley
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Homelessness is something largely caused by education, lifestyle and finances in my opinion. People either don't have the ins to live a normal life, or don't have a normal life they want to live.

In BC this is costing $1000+ a day to the tax payer, per person who they take on.

This is as far as I got on your post.

From an article I read in the 1990s, I understood that the homeless included a large numbers of mentally ill, as well as runaways who leave abusive situations. I don't see that reflected in the first sentence, but then again you say that this is "in your opinion".

But, why does it have to be in your opinion ? Surely there are some sources that you can find out there, if you're interested, that will give you this information.

Edited by Michael Hardner
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Homelessness can also be caused by government polices. For example, in the manufacturing sector where polices changed when the Auto Pact wasn't renewed. This would have help the manufacturing sector keep more jobs here by saying if you want to sale it here, you make it here. Corporations with the help of governments decided to go global and going global is not doing the North American manufacturing a great deal of jobs. Going global is all about corporations bottom line and workers losing jobs and being out sourced to Third World countries. So what happens here to those workers, through no fault of their own, lose their jobs, even take courses for the job of the future only to find none. They are force to sell whatever they have and go on to welfare or become a homeless person.

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Absolutely, this is a grotesque oversimplification of the problem with homelessness. Mental illness is a major factor in most cases. You can offer them all the work incentive you want, but in a lot of cases their minds are depressed and traumatized. Some of them have suffered through a personal tragedy that led them to the point where they've given up on living in normal society. In order to fix anything you've got to address that issue, and that's where I suspect the real cost comes in.

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Homelessness can also be caused by government polices. For example, in the manufacturing sector where polices changed when the Auto Pact wasn't renewed. This would have help the manufacturing sector keep more jobs here by saying if you want to sale it here, you make it here. Corporations with the help of governments decided to go global and going global is not doing the North American manufacturing a great deal of jobs. Going global is all about corporations bottom line and workers losing jobs and being out sourced to Third World countries. So what happens here to those workers, through no fault of their own, lose their jobs, even take courses for the job of the future only to find none. They are force to sell whatever they have and go on to welfare or become a homeless person.

How much of an impact was this really ? How many auto workers became homeless as a result of this ? My feeling is that it's insignificant.

Economic conditions are one of the inputs to homelessness, it's true. And government should be taking the economic gains from liberal trade, and strengthening the safety net with them.

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Some homeless people are simply the non-compliant...some are evil bastards who have screwed friends - family - government and anyone esle they could - hence they are excluded and exiled - some homeless are very useful to the corporate world - They set a great example and threat...In the dead of winter they lay cruxified alive on heating vents...and there is a corporate statement regarding this sight..."IF YOU ARE NON-COMPLIANT AND DO NOT PUT THE CORPORATE LINE...YOU WILL END UP LIKE ONE OF THESE"..

In other words sometimes it is much like ancient cruxifiction at the village gates - kind of keeps the working population in line...

Now for the mentally ill - some break down because they know there is something wrong with the human condition and society as it is now structured - they can't put their finger on the core issue - because they simply do not understand the system...IF you fully understand the sytem you will endure it and NOT fall to pieces...but most will never have the opportunity to be handed the real goods and information about how things operate - so fear and frustration literally kill them.

Now lastly - some homeless are refered to as "medical sacrifices" - people that were handed over to the medical professionals to experiment on - Usually it happens when they were young and had no real advocates..

I know of one person that - as an 18 year old took some LSD and tossed a bottle at grandma ------now he is in his fifties - has never been convicted of a crime - but is force to take a monthly injection of some wierd pharma product - The local Korean corner store guy referes to him as " the German sacrafice" - Then there are the crack heads...who believe they are god...now they are real irritating...and deserve to be homeless and freeze to death....some people do not want to be saved..that is the problem..

For those that want to survive it is a case of priorities - Pay your rent first - and your drugs booze and food last....most are so damned stupid they do not understand that a roof over the head is paramount and the rest will take care of it self.

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Absolutely, this is a grotesque oversimplification of the problem with homelessness. Mental illness is a major factor in most cases. You can offer them all the work incentive you want, but in a lot of cases their minds are depressed and traumatized. Some of them have suffered through a personal tragedy that led them to the point where they've given up on living in normal society. In order to fix anything you've got to address that issue, and that's where I suspect the real cost comes in.

The problem is that mental illnesses are not nice, definable quantities; like unemployment or underemployment. Dealing with the mentally ill is an ongoing, in some cases permanent project (some people don't get better, or need to be carefully monitored their whole lives). You're right that's damned expensive, and because of the way we divide our government services up, the bean counters in the various ministries and departments work from separate budgets, and those budgets are determined in large part by bean counters from the Finance ministry by bean counters who usually are taking orders from the Government to trim savings. So while more homeless shelters, more treatment programs, and yes, in some cases, institutional settings, are deemed very very expensive by the bean counters in those departments, the bean counters in control of the police and the judiciary are perpetually finding their budgets unmanageable because of the costs of dealing with these issues at the street level. And we haven't even dealt with the nature of many bureaucracies to hold information close to their own chests for fear that any kind of meaningful sharing of data will lead to reduced budget allocations, meaning you create a competitive environment.

Frankly, I have a hard time believing that what most jurisdictions in North America have managed to accomplish is, in the big picture, any kind of efficiency on any scale. Having the police as the primary government entity that the homeless, a large fraction of which are mentally ill, cannot possibly be getting the best bang for the buck. Nor are using hospitals, whose resources are almost always being squeezed from a dozen different angles, being forced to offer medical and psychiatric care to these people. We in fact end up using the most expensive line items on our budgets to deal with these issues, so I don't think we're saving a dime, and I suspect we're probably spending a good deal more than we need to. But so long as the Ministry of Social Services, or whatever it's called in any jurisdiction, is showing less people on the dole, then the "useless welfare bums" are not a problem.

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Canada already has disability benefits, social welfare, OAS + GIS, universal health care. If people are still homeless despite all that, why should we care?

As for mental illness, as ToadBrother said, there's no definition. Show me an abnormal CT of a baby whose mother didn't use alcohol, cigarettes or drugs during pregnancy, then I might have some sympathy.

So the real question is not how should we save money, it should be why we are spending money at all. If it's purely a crime prevention scheme, then I am sure it can be done much cheaper. Toronto spends $800 million/year on social housing alone.

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As for mental illness, as ToadBrother said, there's no definition. Show me an abnormal CT of a baby whose mother didn't use alcohol, cigarettes or drugs during pregnancy, then I might have some sympathy.

Have you ever seen a brain scan of a schizophrenic?

The primary reason there is so much homelessness associated with mental illness are the ignorant judgmental attitudes that far too many so-called healthy people are afflicted with. In my small town people petitioned council to refuse a zoning change that would have allowed the Vancouver Island Health Authority to operate an assisted living facility here for people recovering from mental illness. The sole reason petitioners cited for refusing this at the public council meeting were that such a facility might cause mentally ill people to lose their low income housing due to the length of time they might be in the facility. The stupid assholes actually promoted the notion that an assisted living facility would cause, wait for it...more homelessness. The reasons these liars cited when soliciting signatures was that we'd have weirdos lurking in the bushes and needles in the streets.

Council sided with the petitioners. Speaking of ignorant attitudes I tried to point out at the meeting (I yelled it actually) that mental illness doesn't just strike low income people. Of course they looked at me like I was nuts.

If you folks in the cities are wondering why most of the truly homeless people you are stuck dealing with are actually not from your city its because they're being driven there by the stigma they feel in their home communities. Can you imagine yourself letting people know you have a mental illness in such a town as mine? Speaking of needles in your streets, the reason so many mentally ill people are addicted is because they're in so much pain, they may be sick but they still have feelings.

See this link? Please read it and consider that something like 1 in 4 Canadians will suffer a mental disease in their lifetime.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/39/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/soci-e/rep-e/rep02may06-e.htm

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In BC this is costing $1000+ a day to the tax payer, per person who they take on.

Umm, do you have a source on this? $1000 per day per homeless person? Far too high to be true, that's 365k per year, or about 5-10 times more than working/middle class people live on. They could be staying in a 5 star resort and eating a $100 dollar meal three times a day on that kind of money, year round. Do you mean perhaps $1000 per month?

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Those numbers seem exaggerated, but maybe it's accurate.

It might be a rough estimate, where costs are not properly allocated.

However, I can tell you about Toronto's streets to homes initiatives.

Basically, anti-poverty advocates and the business community both agreed that we should find homes for the homeless.

In many cases it was succesful, but not all. Some people did not want to leave the street.

Either because of mistrust, mental health, or other reasons, they did not want a home.

They can not be forced to move, unless there is a threat to their health - so some remained on the street.

Others were placed in permanent homes but simply did not have the life skills to maintain their residence to a minimum standard of decency.

It seems to me that the solution is to offer college-style dorms that are nearly indestructible to anyone in need of a residence, complete with care attendants to ensure a certain level of cleanliness and to teach life skills.

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Clearly something isn't working with this, why havn't communities set up social housing? And if they have why is this still happening.

The cynic in me says homelessness is approaching an industry status now. It employs thousands of people which, ironically, they use to pay for their homes.

HRDC Homelessness Strategy

Even a barracks would cost less to the tax payer. Are there not enough shelters out there?

This is actually being looked at. Surplus Federal Real Property

Not enough social housing for long term living, not enough programs of social building.

The federal programs are filter down with money being allotocated to many provincial and community NFP advocay groups and partners. Is it effective? You tell me - any less homeless people around? How about the hidden homeless?

These don't need to be at great cost, and $1000 a day beds is absurd, they arn't even comfortable and the food is horrible. You could fly them to Mexico to hostle for a month with meals for less than $1000 for a month.

I think the story is referring to a stop-gap problem and it is temporary. There is alot that goes into a $1000.00 a day hospital bed including nurses, doctors, administrators, etc. I think using this as an example is a titch hyperbolic. But it does tell you how effective all those federal millions are.

I think TB illustrated the problem pretty good. It is a complex and highly political problem with fractured solutions.

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Canada already has disability benefits, social welfare, OAS + GIS, universal health care. If people are still homeless despite all that, why should we care?

As for mental illness, as ToadBrother said, there's no definition. Show me an abnormal CT of a baby whose mother didn't use alcohol, cigarettes or drugs during pregnancy, then I might have some sympathy.

So the real question is not how should we save money, it should be why we are spending money at all. If it's purely a crime prevention scheme, then I am sure it can be done much cheaper. Toronto spends $800 million/year on social housing alone.

I think you misunderstand me to some degree. Clearly mental illness is a major issue, and while I might be wrong, I suspect the increase in homelessness in BC that began in the late 1980s came with major changes in the way mentally ill were treated by the province, basically being offloaded into "community care" situations. Certainly where I live, that meant people with some pretty severe problems were basically dumped, given a worker of sorts but not enough time or money to properly deal with it.

Mental illnesses are complex, but no undefinable. My issue is that we've basically made the police and the hospitals (particular the ERs), which have to be among the most expensive services we have, the front line workers. The problem for those with serious problems; whether mental illness or substance abuse, or as often as not, both, is that low income/social housing alone isn't a solution. These people can't manage their money for any number of reasons, and often this sort of housing is simply not suitable.

As harsh as it sounds, I think the de-institutionalization that has been a major pet project in many jurisdictions for the last couple of decades, is the problem. Facilities are expensive to run, and thus, through a slight of hand, "community living" projects became the vogue. It certainly reduced the social services budgets, because now you basically cut a welfare check and somehow expected that a few overworked and underpaid workers could somehow do the job of the much more structured settings that old facilities could offer. Yes, those facilities got a bad rep, and some may even have deserved it, but in many cases it was because of the older Victorian notions of a sanitarium where you basically dumped the insane.

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Most of the homeless I see - I mean hard core are bastards who have screwed - friends - mothers - fathers - children and government...HENCE no place to turn. As for the systemic harrassment and Pavlovian conditioning and torture that is our welfare system...the solution should be this..

Give each poor person homeless or lodged...22 thousand bucks cash - with no strings attatched. The bastards would be dead within the year...from drugs - violence and booze....some that are stupid would be conned out of their money in a month and would perish....and those that can make it and survive would survive because only THEY know what is good for them and what they are designed to do in order to be personally and socially successful..

Nature would take it's course and it would be cheaper- plus - getting rid of the bureacrats that suck the blood through the filter that is the poverty industry - would also be a step in the right direction..

Part of the problem with the Nanny state is that the NANNY believes that ALL the poor are ALL stupid and only THEY know what is best and PIECE MEALING them into oblivion is the solution...

If you are homeless one of the reasons might be is that you foolishly took that first welfare payment..and all the strings attatched - and all those training programs for jobs that don't exist...and you lived with an axe over your head until the poverty industry drove you crazy and then YOU became mentally ill - running into the streets screaming and saying..." I would rather live in the alley and be independent - eating out of a dumpster than be harrassed constantly for a lousy 580 dollars..

Once the tobacco tab is paid..and the rent is paid - you have a total of 60 dollars of disposable cash....so....take it from me...

I am not homeless because I am a GOOD man..but I have learned one thing...

THAT I AM PART OF A FAILED EXPERIMENT - AND I LIVE IN A THIRD WORLD -

So send me a lump sum and I will be on my way never to be seen by the real parasites again.... Boy - I just gave a rant!

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I have long thought government should be a last resort insofar as providing housing goes. And what it provides should be minimalist; just enough to provide shelter. Ie, a YM/YWCA type of room with common areas for showers and kitchens. On the other hand, it SHOULD provide such rooms to anyone in need. Ie, no waiting lists.

Clearly this doesn't work as well for those with children. I have some sympathy for the children involved but generally not their parents. If you don't have a secure job capable of providing the necessaries of life for children you oughtn't have them. And yes, yes, yes, I realize there are unexpected happenings in life - divorces, deaths, illnesses. But altogether far too many children in these situations are the products of pregnancies to single women with no real idea how they're going to provide for their child, and who expect the taxpayer to do so.

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Money is not the issue - It is character..those of good character have ethics and get along well in the world - Those who behave in a vile manner will reap the reward of poverty and discontent..not to mention violence and hate.....If money was the answer..our problem in this area would have been solved.. If honour is not practiced by our highest of highs..then most certainly it will not be held dear by the lowest of low. Honour creates co-operation...There is no co-operation these days..It's every rat for themselves and with that we have a very large urban rats nest in our midst..not just the poor rats but the king rats also - Truth..respect...and honour are no longer taught to our children..They teach them compliance and the submission to every evil.

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Money is not the issue - It is character..those of good character have ethics and get along well in the world - Those who behave in a vile manner will reap the reward of poverty and discontent..not to mention violence and hate.....If money was the answer..our problem in this area would have been solved.. If honour is not practiced by our highest of highs..then most certainly it will not be held dear by the lowest of low. Honour creates co-operation...There is no co-operation these days..It's every rat for themselves and with that we have a very large urban rats nest in our midst..not just the poor rats but the king rats also - Truth..respect...and honour are no longer taught to our children..They teach them compliance and the submission to every evil.

Wow, Oleg. Good post ! :huh:

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Wow, Oleg. Good post ! :huh:

Some times I do have an honest and brave day..feeling very good as of late- I see light at the end of the tunnel - and only good things to come...I guess the worst is over and the best years are on their way...I suppose it is like an endurance test..last one standing inherits the earth - so far so good...my faith has returned and I have resigned my judgeship...oh - just in case...Merry Christmas --- I have a little bell and I will be ringing it...time we all got our wings.

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Some times I do have an honest and brave day..feeling very good as of late- I see light at the end of the tunnel - and only good things to come...I guess the worst is over and the best years are on their way...I suppose it is like an endurance test..last one standing inherits the earth - so far so good...my faith has returned and I have resigned my judgeship...oh - just in case...Merry Christmas --- I have a little bell and I will be ringing it...time we all got our wings.

Well, your voice sounds strong. Life is about those cycles that go up and down. There's nothing quite as good as coming out of a 'down' cycle.

All the best to you !

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Absolutely, this is a grotesque oversimplification of the problem with homelessness. Mental illness is a major factor in most cases. You can offer them all the work incentive you want, but in a lot of cases their minds are depressed and traumatized. Some of them have suffered through a personal tragedy that led them to the point where they've given up on living in normal society. In order to fix anything you've got to address that issue, and that's where I suspect the real cost comes in.

The other major reason is addiction. Alcohol addiction, and drug addiction, mostly.

The breakdown in the family is a major contributing factor. Not fashionable, perhaps, but true just the same.

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Umm, do you have a source on this? $1000 per day per homeless person? Far too high to be true, that's 365k per year, or about 5-10 times more than working/middle class people live on. They could be staying in a 5 star resort and eating a $100 dollar meal three times a day on that kind of money, year round. Do you mean perhaps $1000 per month?

This money doesn't go to the homeless, silly. The biggest part of it is gobbled up by all the middle class 'experts' who work for organizations that are supported by public funds.

You'll be equally amazed about how much public money is poured into things like co-op housing, and how important race is in getting into these developments. Again, not much of it gets into the hands of those who are the supposed beneficiaries.

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This is as far as I got on your post.

From an article I read in the 1990s, I understood that the homeless included a large numbers of mentally ill, as well as runaways who leave abusive situations. I don't see that reflected in the first sentence, but then again you say that this is "in your opinion".

But, why does it have to be in your opinion ? Surely there are some sources that you can find out there, if you're interested, that will give you this information.

Agreed. The OP seems to be based on wild hunches rather than any researched evidence.

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