I’ve worked helping homeless people in the past on many occasions, had friends whos family members were homeless, had homeless friends, and had even been homeless myself for a small amount of time. There are a lot of people that are homeless through no fault of their own, there are people that are homeless because of drug abuse (which perpetuates the cycle). Both of these people need more access to the help that can be provided to them, but I mainly wanted to talk about a third category of homelessness: People that are homeless by choice.

People that are homeless by choice have told me that they enjoy the lifestyle and enjoy the freedom that it brings despite the negatives. They actively rejected help from people and expressed their desires to me to intend living that lifestyle forever. While I think every person has the right to live their own life the way they see fit, homelessness often has negatives to the people that aren’t homeless. Feces and needles in the streets, breaking and entering into homes, garages, sheds, vandalizing and burning them down in the process. Of course all homeless people aren’t like that but the point still remains: a healthy society generally doesn’t have homeless people. How do you achieve a balance to allow the people whom are homeless by choice to live in a way they see fit while also minimizing the perceived issues of homelessness? What are your thoughts on homeless people?

I ask these questions in good faith and I hope you also do the same. Thank you for your thoughts and opinions.

  • @beansniffer@lemmy.mlOP
    2 years ago

    The people in San Francisco who are complaining about homelessness and its ill effects aren’t complaining about the effects of 3 homeless people throughout the entire city. They’re complaining about 20,000 homeless.

    Your comment was helpful for providing insight, particularly the line I quoted above. Thanks.

    What would you say is a potential solution for those 20,000 homeless for example?

    • @DPUGT2@lemmy.ml
      02 years ago

      I solved homelessness about 6 years ago. Turns out it was a math problem. I have no idea who to talk to about actually implementing the solution.

      If we constrain the problem to the North American mainland (Hawaii is a little bizarre) or perhaps to continental Europe, then the true problem of homelessness is a game theory issue. There are multiple jurisdictions, often of many different political flavors. Some are hostile to the homeless, and merely want the problem to go away, but others are sympathetic. Occasionally they are wealthy too. Why do these jurisdictions not solve homelessness locally?

      Because even if they manage to figure out the exact formula for fixing homelessness, instead of reducing the number of homeless in their locality, they increase it. Paradoxically. The homeless aren’t chained to the ground where they’re currently at… if they heard of a magical place giving out homes to the homeless, they’d go there. They’d hitchhike or panhandle for bus (trains in Europe?) fare, or if they had no other choice they’d walk for 4 weeks.

      And so the small city that solves homelessness for its population of 150 homeless now has 5000.

      Budgets being what they are, a city that afforded the solution for 150 can’t hope to afford the same solution for 5000. And if somehow they could, then next month they’d have another 10,000.

      For that matter, nearby cities would notice too… and they’d be buying bus tickets for their own homeless.

      Human beings aren’t stupid. Every politician and officeholder out there understands this intuitively. The few that don’t understand it intuitively will eventually see it in action and then come to understand it. And because of this, they refrain from doing anything that gets the homeless off the street in any significant way. So even in Democratic Party bastions on the west coast like San Francisco, you see them doing absolutely nothing to fix this. Only lip service and the “we’re pretending to be trying things” approach that we’ve had for decades.

      This is a sort of “meta problem”. If you could somehow make it so that a city or a county or a small village only had to fix the problem for those homeless which are their responsibility, so that more didn’t arrive to overwhelm budgets, then at least in some places homelessness would be fixed. And the places that aren’t sympathetic might do so for practical reasons (it’s far cheaper) having seen that it can be fixed.

      And it turns out that fixing this meta problem almost sounds dumb. It’s a simple administrative policy, essentially free (I mean, you can count the fractional salaries of the people who’d implement the policy, but they’re already on the payroll in most municipal governments), and ethical. It doesn’t involve shoveling the homeless into furnaces. Just some social work, paperwork, and rules that say whether or not the city is itself responsible for any particular individual (and when they’re not, the social workers are still completing paperwork that proves another city/county/whatever is actually responsible).

      All those horror stories you hear about the mayor’s office buying one-way tickets and sending them out of town to anywhere else… you’ve read of them, haven’t you? When a journalist tries to call them to account on it, and they make excuses about “but he really was from this place far away, and we were just sending him home”… this policy, these rules, would give away those lies.

      If there were just one city or town somewhere that was willing to adopt this policy, it might force nearby cities and towns to adopt the same policy defensively. And when they did, more might follow.