Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Homeless Are Just Ordinary People Down on Their Luck, Except When They Aren’t

 

Article in the LA Times on Homelessness:

There are also misconceptions about homeless people — that the vast majority are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted.

Later in the same article:

Supportive housing in particular — which offers not just a place to live but also access to job counseling and mental health and substance abuse treatment, among other things — is the best long-term solution for the chronically homeless

So … it’s a “misconception” that the homeless are primarily mentally ill or have substance abuse problems. But the solution to homelessness has to include mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Maybe one of the reasons certain social problems seem so intractable is an inability to admit that the politically correct characterization of these problems is at odds with their true nature.

I also dispute the article’s contention that Los Angeles’s homeless problem is a “national problem.” It is not. It is a local disgrace and a product of political choices made by the city of Los Angeles and the state of California.

There are 41 comments.

  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    The people who write those articles obviously do not read them through once the article is written. These are the people who, in full view of the TV audience, state something; when called on it, they deny they ever said it, and get very angry with the person who called them on it.

    Feelings…nothing more than feelings.

    • #1
    • March 7, 2018, at 8:12 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. Henry Castaigne Member

    Whenever I read the local socialist rag. Which I do religiously because it makes me feel like an Englishmen in colonial times observing huma sacrifice in Asia. I think of writing a post about how insane and self-evidently dumb the writing is. But ultimately laziness takes over. Thank you for going through the effort of posting how dumb writers are.

    • #2
    • March 7, 2018, at 8:32 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  3. Ekosj Inactive

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    The people who write those articles obviously do not read them through once the article is written.

    Theirs is just a nuanced position on a complex problem.

    (did I say that with a straight face?)

    • #3
    • March 7, 2018, at 8:35 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  4. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    There is no logical contradiction in the author’s argument. The key word used by the author in the first paragraph is “hopelessly”.

    i.e. It’s not a misconception that the homeless are drug-addicted and mentally ill. It’s a misconception that they are hopelessly drug-addicted and mentally ill.

    Therefore, it makes logical sense that a strategy to fight homelessness should include addiction treatment and mental health treatment, because the author’s claim is that these causal factors are not hopeless.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    • #4
    • March 7, 2018, at 9:18 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    There is no logical contradiction in the author’s argument. The key word used by the author in the first paragraph is “hopelessly”.

    i.e. It’s not a misconception that the homeless are drug-addicted and mentally ill. It’s a misconception that they are hopelessly drug-addicted and mentally ill.

    Therefore, it makes logical sense that a strategy to fight homelessness should include addiction treatment and mental health treatment, because the author’s claim is that these causal factors are not hopeless.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Well that’s a...nuanced take on the issue.

    Far more nuanced than the average newspaper journalist is capable of writing. (No offense James Lileks, who is not your average Newspaper journalist).

    • #5
    • March 7, 2018, at 9:40 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Annefy Member

    I got in an email flame war with Steve Lopez of the LA Times when he was writing about the subject of homelessness and one particular individual – later became the subject of the book The Soloist and movie of the same name.

    He became an advocate for one individual he had befriended and wrote about the challenges of trying to help him. For instance, Steve Lopez got him “in the system” and even got him an apartment. Which the individual refused to inhabit because there were smokers in the building.

    Every single article ended with a call for more government help. My email war with him started when I pointed out that as an individual he was having limited success, what hope would a government agency have?

    Personally, what I found most shocking about the story was that the homeless guy (a Julliard trained musician) had a family on the east coast, had been missing for 20+ years, was known to have mental health problems and no one had looked for him.

    (slight edit)

    • #6
    • March 7, 2018, at 10:07 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Coolidge

    Victor Tango Kilo: I also dispute the article’s contention that Los Angeles’s homeless problem is a “national problem.” It is not. It is a local disgrace and a product of political choices made by the city of Los Angeles and the state of California.

    They call it a “national problem” so they can place the blame on someone else and possibly get federal funding to “solve” this problem. (Funds that will never actually be used for its intended purpose.)

    • #7
    • March 7, 2018, at 10:58 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  8. Umbra Fractus, cum Insigne Lincoln
    Umbra Fractus, cum Insigne Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    There is no logical contradiction in the author’s argument. The key word used by the author in the first paragraph is “hopelessly”.

    i.e. It’s not a misconception that the homeless are drug-addicted and mentally ill. It’s a misconception that they are hopelessly drug-addicted and mentally ill.

    Therefore, it makes logical sense that a strategy to fight homelessness should include addiction treatment and mental health treatment, because the author’s claim is that these causal factors are not hopeless.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    <devil’s advocate mode = on>

    Also, the author asserted that it’s a myth that “the vast majority are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted.” [emphasis added] He never claimed that none of them are.

    <devil’s advocate mode = off>

    • #8
    • March 7, 2018, at 10:59 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. James Lileks Contributor

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    Far more nuanced than the average newspaper journalist is capable of writing. (No offense James Lileks, who is not your average Newspaper journalist).

    Thanks!

    • #9
    • March 7, 2018, at 11:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    There is no logical contradiction in the author’s argument. The key word used by the author in the first paragraph is “hopelessly”.

    i.e. It’s not a misconception that the homeless are drug-addicted and mentally ill. It’s a misconception that they are hopelessly drug-addicted and mentally ill.

    Therefore, it makes logical sense that a strategy to fight homelessness should include addiction treatment and mental health treatment, because the author’s claim is that these causal factors are not hopeless.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    <devil’s advocate mode = on>

    Also, the author asserted that it’s a myth that “the vast majority are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted.” [emphasis added] He never claimed that none of them are.

    <devil’s advocate mode = off>

    For that matter, the author doesn’t even deny that a majority of them are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted. He merely denies that a vast majority of them are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted.

    Therefore, 100% of the homeless could be mentally ill or drug-addicted, with 51% of them being hopelessly so, and still the author’s claim would be factually accurate.

    • #10
    • March 7, 2018, at 11:30 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  11. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    Far more nuanced than the average newspaper journalist is capable of writing. (No offense James Lileks, who is not your average Newspaper journalist).

    Thanks!

    Not Average ≠ Above Average

    I’m just sayin’.

    ;-)

    • #11
    • March 7, 2018, at 11:32 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Doug Watt Member

    I suppose you could start a flow chart that categorizes the homeless. For those that aren’t mentally ill, what is their problem? Are there some that are just lazy, and have no desire to work to feed, clothe, and pay for a roof over their head? Would one group be categorized as seekers of Social Security Disability payments to support paying for the endless desire to hang out in a public library and search for porn on library computers. Are there some that need housing to retire to after a day of panhandling on freeway exit and on ramps?

    I didn’t know that anyone was still being categorized as a mentally ill in our new anything goes society, isn’t that judgemental?

    • #12
    • March 7, 2018, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Nohaaj Coolidge

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I suppose you could start a flow chart that categorizes the homeless. For those that aren’t mentally ill, what is their problem? Are there some that are just lazy, and have no desire to work to feed, clothe, and pay for a roof over their head? Would one group be categorized as seekers of Social Security Disability payments to support paying for the endless desire to hang out in a public library and search for porn on library computers. Are there some that need housing to retire to after a day of panhandling on freeway exit and on ramps?

    I didn’t know that anyone was still being categorized as a mentally ill in our new anything goes society, isn’t that judgemental?

    You could also do a Venn Diagram to see the intersectionality of the causal effects. All of the studies could then be printed in quadruplicate, and distributed to the homeless to be used as fuel for their bonfires.

    • #13
    • March 7, 2018, at 1:10 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  14. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    There is no logical contradiction in the author’s argument. The key word used by the author in the first paragraph is “hopelessly”.

    i.e. It’s not a misconception that the homeless are drug-addicted and mentally ill. It’s a misconception that they are hopelessly drug-addicted and mentally ill.

    Therefore, it makes logical sense that a strategy to fight homelessness should include addiction treatment and mental health treatment, because the author’s claim is that these causal factors are not hopeless.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Well that’s a...nuanced take on the issue.

    Far more nuanced than the average newspaper journalist is capable of writing. (No offense James Lileks, who is not your average Newspaper journalist).

    IMHO, it’s not so much nuanced as weasel-worded. The reporter says “it’s a misconception that the vast majority are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted.” “Hopelessly” is one weasel-word, and “vast” is another. There could be a majority, but not a vast majority of homeless who are hopelessly drug-addicted/mentally ill AND a vast majority who are drug-addicted/mentally ill…. but not hopelessly so. And the truth is probably something like a vast majority of the homeless are drug-addicted/mentally ill and a majority within that group, hopelessly so.

    Next, he does the reporter’s trick of only profiling homeless people who are neither drug-addicted nor mentally ill. He only profiles hard-luck cases because that is more sympathetic to the reader than someone who got kicked out of their apartment because their neighbors didn’t appreciate the meth heads hanging around and the landlords didn’t appreciate the holes punched in their walls.

    But, y’know, maybe if Californezuela wasn’t so busy showering illegal immigrants with free college, free health care, and lawyers to fight deportation; maybe they’d have more money to handle this homeless problem. Y’think?

    • #14
    • March 7, 2018, at 4:35 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  15. low key Inactive

    Victor Tango Kilo:Article in the LA Times on Homelessness:

    There are also misconceptions about homeless people — that the vast majority are hopelessly mentally ill or drug-addicted.

    I have dealt with drug addiction and mental illness in my own life and what annoys me is the portion of the homeless population that treat it as a lifestyle choice. I’m more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who has made a mess of their life and is trying to scrape back from the bottom than someone just content to tread water there.

    I suppose they are right after a fashion, and if they aren’t hurting anyone what do I care? Just reminds me of a guy (homeless but for no other reason than he wanted to be) who used to do odd jobs for my boss showing off the several “free” cellphones he now had courtesy of the local pusher of whatever federal program made them available. Ugh, yes Jimmy, those were indeed “free”.

    • #15
    • March 7, 2018, at 4:40 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Hoyacon Member

    Well, the vast majority of the homeless may not be mentally ill or drug addicted. But I’m betting the vast majority are mentally ill, drug addicted, or unable/unwilling to compensate for bad choices in life. YMMV as to the degree of state responsibility to compensate for the last.

    • #16
    • March 7, 2018, at 5:58 PM PST
    • Like
  17. AUMom Member
    AUMom Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I write for a Greenville, SC umbrella ministry that has four homeless shelters and two addiction recovery centers.

    One day, the director of one of the homeless shelters said that 30 years ago (when he became a part of the homeless ministry) the average person was a 50ish white drunk. Today the average age is down to the 30s, as many black men as white men, and the number of women will reach 50% in the next 20 years. He said, “That’s a shame because families will keep trying with a woman, especially when she has children.”

    Another directer of a small town shelter said, “By the time they come to us, the women are far crazier than the men.” When I asked if that was because the women hid it better, he said, “No, it means they are finally too crazy for anyone to sleep with.”

    There are folks who are not mentally ill and/or addicted but they are, by far, the minority and don’t stay homeless for long.

    • #17
    • March 7, 2018, at 6:34 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Profile Photo Member

    Being that I live in Massachusetts, there aren’t a lot of homeless people here. It’s too cold. But there are some, and when it gets to the point where the weather is below zero, and homeless people are being encouraged to go to shelters so they don’t freeze to death, and they still refuse to go, then obviously there are some mental health issues going on. We need to start institutionalizing mentally ill people who are not capable of caring for themselves: I say that as someone who has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

    During one of my psychotic episodes, I left the house without telling my parents where I was going, and went to a homeless shelter in a nearby town. Being that I was in the middle of a psychotic break, I remember very little of my time there, but apparently (?) I put up an ok front; the one thing I do remember is standing on a sidewalk outside the shelter while some guy interrogated me about why I didn’t have a job and why I wasn’t supporting myself. He seemed to think I was ok, and to be fair, I usually put up a good front, and the people around me usually had no idea what was going on. Eventually, after a week or two of my family having no idea where I was, I called one of my uncles. He had me sent to a respite center, which is voluntary, but you could only stay there a week. At the end of the week, I told them I wanted to go back to the homeless shelter, and they told me they would give me a ride there. They were lying; after a day of waiting around, an ambulance showed up, and it was clear that I was going back to to the psych ward whether I wanted to or not. I never threatened anyone else, and I never threatened to hurt myself, but I was committed against my will because I was lucky enough to have parents who implored anyone who would listen to have me committed. I am afraid that is the only thing that distinguished me from many of the other people at the shelter. I remember very little of my time there, but find it difficult to believe that I was the only crazy person there. When my uncle came to pick me up at the shelter, the woman who ran the shelter flat out told me that I was very lucky to have a family member who cared enough to show up: she said that most of the people in that shelter didn’t have that.

    Mental illness is something that families often cannot deal with on their own. It is one area of life where government help really is needed, but current policy has abandoned the mentally ill.

    • #18
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:05 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  19. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I suppose you could start a flow chart that categorizes the homeless. For those that aren’t mentally ill, what is their problem? Are there some that are just lazy, and have no desire to work to feed, clothe, and pay for a roof over their head? Would one group be categorized as seekers of Social Security Disability payments to support paying for the endless desire to hang out in a public library and search for porn on library computers. Are there some that need housing to retire to after a day of panhandling on freeway exit and on ramps?

    I didn’t know that anyone was still being categorized as a mentally ill in our new anything goes society, isn’t that judgemental?

    It is judgemental if the object of the criticism is a preferred category person. If the object is some MAGA blowhard, then it is merely redundant. Emily Post, phone your office.

    • #19
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:25 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Profile Photo Member

    And to be clear, a lot of the mentally ill homeless wouldn’t be homeless or an in institution if they would stay on their meds. There would be some-probably a minority-who would have to be institutionalized, but the rest would be given a simple choice: stay on your meds or else we will put you in an institution. Yes, this is heavy handed, but what are we supposed to do?

    Like many or most mentally ill people, I bounced on and off of meds for a long time, trying to prove that I didn’t really need them, until I was presented with a very clear choice: my husband told me that I could either agree to take my meds, or he would leave me. It was very heavy handed, and it worked. I wouldn’t say that I am fully functioning, but I work part time, keep a relatively (lol) clean house, and cook dinner most nights. If it weren’t for the heavy handed people in my life, I would either be dead or on the streets.

    • #20
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:27 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  21. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    There is no logical contradiction in the author’s argument. The key word used by the author in the first paragraph is “hopelessly”.

    i.e. It’s not a misconception that the homeless are drug-addicted and mentally ill. It’s a misconception that they are hopelessly drug-addicted and mentally ill.

    Therefore, it makes logical sense that a strategy to fight homelessness should include addiction treatment and mental health treatment, because the author’s claim is that these causal factors are not hopeless.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    We’ve got “vast”, “homeless,” “chronically homeless” and “hopelessly mentally ill and/or “hopelessly drug addicted” (an additional possibility presuming that “drug addicted” doesn’t necessarily equal “mentally ill.”

    The LA Birdcage Liner article does say that there is a rapidly increasing number of “economically homeless,” and the story is framed to show that this could be temporary if only.

    Fortunately, California has experienced a substantial net population loss in the last 10 or 15 years. Fortunately because California has not built out enough housing for the people who remain—or at any rate, hasn’t built it where the jobs currently. Also fortunately because California, currently in and out of drought and historically subject to droughts lasting many tens or even hundreds of years, has not built additional water storage capacity for 40 years or more, during which time despite recent population loss, the population has overall increased substantially.

    Unfortunately, the emigrants, the largest plurality of whom are middle aged middle class citizens and with a strong leavening of small business owners, have taken tens of billions of dollars of income with them.

    • #21
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:29 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Doug Watt Member

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    Being that I live in Massachusetts, there aren’t a lot of homeless people here. It’s too cold. But there are some, and when it gets to the point where the weather is below zero, and homeless people are being encouraged to go to shelters so they don’t freeze to death, and they still refuse to go, then obviously there are some mental health issues going on. We need to start institutionalizing mentally ill people who are not capable of caring for themselves: I say that as someone who has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

    Most people I dealt with on mental health calls were already in a full blown crisis. Either violent, or threatening violence. By the way the ambulance crew, and whoever called them should not have lied to you. When I dealt with someone I would suggest the 72 hour psych hold and if they agreed then when they were in the back seat of the police car they knew where we were going.

    It is very difficult for families and support is what they need, and they are not getting it.

    • #22
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:38 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    Mental illness is something that families often cannot deal with on their own. It is one area of life where government help really is needed, but current policy has abandoned the mentally ill.

    Two stories. I worked as a consulting engineer for one of the big Northern California tech companies and during a lull a friend there opened up about his experiences. He was highly capable on the job and a sharp thinker, but if he forgot his medicines, he was on the street for however long it took for him to balance out naturally. Sometimes months, twice over a year. No family to look after him when these eruptions happened.

    After he shared his long, horrific story I responded by pointing out that none of this was his fault. He looked me in the eye as if no one had ever suggested such a notion to him before and thanked me. These were big chunks of his life that he could never get back. Relationships destroyed, jobs lost, health issues galore, and once balance was restored there was yet another hair raising challenge of restarting his professional life.

    A local relative who was always at family events was staying with cousins in the area. They helped to keep the fellow on beam though there were no red light warning signs that he was anything other than shy. One day he hopped the Amtrak for a distant city and was never seen again.

    These are cases where a subdermal RFID could really be a salvation, especially when family is willing to work to help keep the affected person well. Even if less than 10% of the homeless could be helped this way, it would be a huge blessing as well as a way of turning people unable to care for themselves back into productive members of society.

    • #23
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:51 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Profile Photo Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    Being that I live in Massachusetts, there aren’t a lot of homeless people here. It’s too cold. But there are some, and when it gets to the point where the weather is below zero, and homeless people are being encouraged to go to shelters so they don’t freeze to death, and they still refuse to go, then obviously there are some mental health issues going on. We need to start institutionalizing mentally ill people who are not capable of caring for themselves: I say that as someone who has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

    Most people I dealt with on mental health calls were already in a full blown crisis. Either violent, or threatening violence. By the way the ambulance crew, and whoever called them should not have lied to you. When I dealt with someone I would suggest the 72 hour psych hold and if they agreed then when they were in the back seat of the police car they knew where we were going.

    It is very difficult for families and support is what they need, and they are not getting it.

    At the time, I was very upset about being lied to, but in hindsight I am very grateful that they lied to me. This was almost 20 years ago, and at that time, it was permissible in Massachusetts to force someone in an institution to take medicine against their will. So, once I arrived at the psych ward, I ended up in a makeshift courtroom trying to convince a judge why I shouldn’t be forced to take medication. It didn’t work: they told me that if I didn’t take the meds willingly, they would forcibly inject me. At the time, I was upset about that too, and even now, I don’t like to think about it, but that judge probably saved my life.

    The law in Massachusetts has since changed-mentally ill people can no longer be forced to take their meds. I understand better than most how horrible it is to have meds forced, both for the one being forced and the ones doing the forcing, but what is the alternative? Letting mentally ill people freeze to death? Looking the other way when a mentally ill person harms others, or themselves? In the worst case scenarios, when mentally ill people who have committed a crime actually do get put away in institutions for the criminally insane, staff and other patients still have to deal with them. And they can’t be forced to take their meds. I am sure this makes many liberals who have never had to deal with a mentally ill person feel good about themselves, but I don’t see it working.

    • #24
    • March 7, 2018, at 7:56 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Profile Photo Member

    @sisyphus: I am so sorry about your relative. Heartbreaking. I hope your friend is ok. I have actually been on both sides of this: a guy we were friends with had what sounded a lot like a mental breakdown several years ago. He had never been the hardest working guy in the world, but had always worked at least part time and managed to support himself, but at some in his fifties, he seemed to just fall apart. We weren’t super close with him, so we heard about it from others-he disappeared for a while, and then showed up again, but his family lost all patience with him, and last I heard he couldn’t even go to the homeless shelter because while he was there, he was very difficult and saying racist things to Black people; knowing him a little, it wouldn’t surprise me if he had been violent. My husband and I drove by him once while he was panhandling: we didn’t stop, and I feel so bad about that. I don’t know what we could have done: we had no money, and were living with my parents at the time. Even if that wasn’t the case, by all accounts, he had become impossible to deal with. And this is what I am talking about when I say that family and friends are often not equipped to deal with mental illness totally on their own. Part of me wishes that we had stopped, just to tell him that we cared. But that is literally all we could have done, and another part of me wonders if that would have been received as empty words, and done more harm than good.

    Institutionalizing someone who has not committed a crime is so brutal, but sometimes it’s the only way to save someone. I will be haunted by him forever: I wish I had been a better friend to him, but at the same time, I am at a loss as to how I could have been a decent friend to him. Some families and friends really do abandon the mentally ill; others just have no idea what to do, and given our current laws, there is usually nothing they can do. And if the choice becomes, let your belligerent, potentially violent mentally ill brother live in the same house as your kids, or let him be homeless, the correct choice is to let him be homeless. In most cases, those are the only two choices people have: it shouldn’t be this way.

    • #25
    • March 7, 2018, at 8:32 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. Lance Member
    Lance Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Homelessness is the ultimate policy conundrum. The more you do to abate it, the more you attract. Simple humane gesturing has significant unintended consequences. Allowing them to keep their tents up during the day allows for permanent urban campsites. But no one wants to be the bully that pushes them away.

    LA is bad but SF is so much worse. I can’t even think of taking my girls there to visit. It’s traumatic enough as a visiting adult. Let alone a child. But to live and experience it every single day? You must become simply numb to it.

    • #26
    • March 7, 2018, at 10:45 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  27. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    @judithanncampbell

    I am curious – did you experience bad side effects from the medications? I’m not trying to jump on you here, just trying to get a better understanding of why you go off the meds. Was it just proving that you didn’t need the meds?

    I wonder if they could do a long-lasting dose of anti-psychotics like they do for many birth control drugs. One procedure every six months or to install a drug dispenser implant.

    • #27
    • March 8, 2018, at 12:06 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Zafar Member

    Homeless doesn’t necessarily mean living on the street.

    There is more than one “official” definition of homelessness. Health centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) use the following:

    A homeless individual is defined in section 330(h)(5)(A) as “an individual who lacks housing (without regard to whether the individual is a member of a family), including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provides temporary living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional housing.” A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation. [Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C., 254b)]

    So if people have it together enough to stay out of sight in a “shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle” you won’t notice them, but they’re still homeless.

    It’s the people who are so dysfunctional that they actually can’t stay at any of these options because the owners/other people make them leave are the visible homeless you see living on the street.

    • #28
    • March 8, 2018, at 2:18 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. cirby Member

    One of the interesting statistical tricks I’ve seen was “diluting” the homeless problem. A while back, they started including anyone who was “homeless” for any length of time in the surveys.

    So when a sane person with a job lost their lease and lived on a friend’s couch for a couple of days until their new apartment was painted and cleaned, they were included in the “homeless” numbers.

    Likewise, when someone moved halfway across the country and lived in their car for a few days until they figured out where they could live near their new job? Homeless.

    This does two things: it makes the “homeless problem” look even more dire, and it dilutes the number of actual homeless people who are, well, crazy.

    I’ve been around a fair number of homeless people over the years – I used to hang out and work in downtown Orlando. There were a couple of reasonably sane guys I knew (both were ex-cons who had trouble finding real work), but there were many, many more absolute nutcases.

    One in particular seemed sane about ninety percent of the time, but every once in a while, he’d drop a comment like “and then I stabbed him” into the conversation. Turned out he was also an ex-con, had been sent to prison twice for murder, was more than a little crazy, and had what you might call a “vanishingly short temper” when he was off his meds…

    • #29
    • March 8, 2018, at 3:33 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  30. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Well, the vast majority of the homeless may not be mentally ill or drug addicted. But I’m betting the vast majority are mentally ill, drug addicted, or unable/unwilling to compensate for bad choices in life. YMMV as to the degree of state responsibility to compensate for the last.

    they’ve also burned though all the social capital of a lifetime, alienating every relative or friend they have ever had….

    • #30
    • March 8, 2018, at 5:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes