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The homelessness problem in Seattle, LA,Portland, and SF


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Due to drug addiction and /or mental illness most homeless people don't have the skills to stay off the street.  They need to be taken into custody, evaluated on an individual basis and either given training in basic life skills with mental health treatment or drug addiction treatment or sent to an institution that can try and cure them with an eye on long term rehabilitation if possible. Most other solutions are band aids.

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6 minutes ago, [icon] said:

SF is a cesspool these days. So sad. 

These days? The city has a long and storied history of being a cess pool

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Spend 2 days a few years ago as part of vacation in SF.  Will never go back.  Read a few articles saying city losing tourism dollars and major conferences...

Edited by stlrams
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People who choose to be homeless over going into shelters or using section 8 to get into an apartment need more care than can be addressed on a message board. My answers will all sound heartless but I believe that the mental state of these folks calls for many to end up in old fashioned Looney bins. They can not be trusted to self medicate and quite frankly our society of today does not allow for you to live life as a urban camper.

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2 hours ago, bosoxs45 said:

What is the solution to this ongoing problem 

Many of these folks don't have the skills to integrate into the modern workforce.  Taxpayers should fund programs that will allow these people to gain the skills they need to compete in the job market.  Like learning how to code.

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24 minutes ago, NutterButter said:

Is being homeless in a big city with a mild climate that much more appealing that being homeless in a rural area with a mild climate?  If so, why?

Shelters and food banks are more prevalent if they’re so inclined, plus exponentially more people to beg from and possibly get a buck or two. Also easier access to whatever vices they might have that currently led them into the current situation. 

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3 minutes ago, Punxsutawney Phil said:

Many of these folks don't have the skills to integrate into the modern workforce.  Taxpayers should fund programs that will allow these people to gain the skills they need to compete in the job market.  Like learning how to code.

I don’t disagree with the intention, but these people don’t have the skills to even learn how to integrate into a modern workforce. They’re practically all living with either a mental illness or addiction.  There’s enough social programs where the “down of their luck” crew has mostly not been on the streets, just living in poverty. 

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6 minutes ago, bigmarc27 said:

I don’t disagree with the intention, but these people don’t have the skills to even learn how to integrate into a modern workforce. They’re practically all living with either a mental illness or addiction.  There’s enough social programs where the “down of their luck” crew has mostly not been on the streets, just living in poverty. 

The homeless programs are vastly underfunded and all of the good teachers are at universities.  The only real solution is to throw more money at it to lure better code teachers.

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50 minutes ago, NutterButter said:

Is being homeless in a big city with a mild climate that much more appealing that being homeless in a rural area with a mild climate?  If so, why?

I think big cities have safety nets in place (shelters, soup kitchens, etc) that rural communities do not.

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It's only going to get worse as social programs are wildly underfunded and older, affordable housing is being torn down at an alarming rate and replaced only with luxury apartments and condos. All the "cheap" places aren't cheap any more because there aren't as many of them and nobody can afford to leave them. Rents are exploding in the poorest areas of the city. Even in rent controlled areas the rents are ridiculous.

A few years back i decided to go for an early morning run. It was just before dawn. As I'm warming up, walking down this quiet street in my neighborhood (a pretty good neighborhood) I'm startled walking by this car parked on the street. Out of the corner of my eye i see somebody stirring in the car. I'm thinking, that's weird, what the hell are they doing sitting there in their car at this hour? As I continue down the street i see in car after car there are people sleeping in those cars. In almost every single car, one after the other. I had no idea this was happening so close to where I lived.

You have three types of homeless. The mentally ill, the addicts and the people who are down on their luck or simply cannot afford to live in the city. They all need help. House and at least attempt to treat the mentally ill and the addicts (easier said than done, I know) and build way, way more affordable housing for the poor. Changing the dumb zoning laws would be a start.

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47 minutes ago, Punxsutawney Phil said:

The homeless programs are vastly underfunded and all of the good teachers are at universities.  The only real solution is to throw more money at it to lure better code teachers.

Crazy Chester does not want to learn how to code.  He just wants to medicate until the voices stop.  Whitman Thereau IX and PTSD Pete, well they just like being out of doors. Are there programing companies with their work stations situated al fresco?

 

I said what a minute Chester, you know I am a peaceful man....

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49 minutes ago, Walking Boot said:

Los Angeles is massive. It is really, really spread out. 

And there are homeless everywhere

Even the Valley is overflowing. 

 

It's not yet as bad as Honolulu, but, there are some large tent cities going up and people on every street and I can see it getting worse quickly.

One thing I heard was the city started renting apartments and giving them to the homeless for free, and it ended up being cheaper than the usual cost of city services for the homeless. 

They're doing this in Salt Lake City as well. From what I've read, it's been the best option so far, for a number of reasons.

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1 hour ago, The Big Guy said:

People who choose to be homeless over going into shelters or using section 8 to get into an apartment need more care than can be addressed on a message board. My answers will all sound heartless but I believe that the mental state of these folks calls for many to end up in old fashioned Looney bins. They can not be trusted to self medicate and quite frankly our society of today does not allow for you to live life as a urban camper.

Agreed. Deinstitutionalization has largely been a failure IMO. People aren't getting the help they need and it costs society greatly as well.

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4 hours ago, bosoxs45 said:

What is the solution to this ongoing problem 

portland resident.  all my life.   did a report on this in HS  where i went all around portland filming and talking to homeless people, the shelters, social workers, police and local government.

I've seen the homeless situation my entire adult life, i live in portland, there are homeless people all around me.   

 

biggest change in the homeless situation here in Portland is twofold.   Major one is gov't mental health services are all but gone compared to 30 years ago.   next major one in portland at least is the decision by mayor not to enforce camping laws on books, so we now have tent towns all over the place on sidewalks and grassy areas under overpasses etc.    3rd one is the continuing drug problems of society.    I would estimate that 50-60% of the homeless population doesn't want to be homeless but reached a point in life they had no options.   the other 40% approx is mentally ill people and or drug/alcohol issue people that end up homeless.   

i have one idea how to solve the issue but i'm sure very few people would agree.    Build (either public/private or combo) housing like dorms that they can live in the deal is this

for free room and board and 3 hot meals a day, all you have to do is work for 20 hrs week for the city doing beautification projects such as picking up litter on roadsides, covering graffiti, planting flowers here or there etc.    that's for the people that don't want to be homeless and just need a hand.   The other part of the dorms/facilities is mental health and drug/alcohol services where you can take the truly needy and help them   

In this regard, you can give these people the help they need, remove and reverse most of the visual blight we currently are witnessing, and genuinely help solve the problem at the people level.   I'd rather my tax money go to this than building new bike lanes or light rail services.   

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8 minutes ago, tommyboy said:

 

In this regard, you can give these people the help they need, remove and reverse most of the visual blight we currently are witnessing, and genuinely help solve the problem at the people level.   I'd rather my tax money go to this than building new bike lanes or light rail services.   

You had me until cutting bike lanes and light rail. Can’t we cut bomb purchases and tax breaks for the rich first?  

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22 minutes ago, Nick Vermeil said:

You had me until cutting bike lanes and light rail. Can’t we cut bomb purchases and tax breaks for the rich first?  

You're confusing federal govt spending with local government spending. 

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10 minutes ago, tommyboy said:

You're confusing federal govt spending with local government spending. 

I'm curious since you did the report, were these all local Oregon natives living on the streets?  Serious question. I don't want to speculate.  

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1 hour ago, Nick Vermeil said:

I'm curious since you did the report, were these all local Oregon natives living on the streets?  Serious question. I don't want to speculate.  

Mostly

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I've had an idea for a while now to help put the homeless to work and also solve traffic issues in these cities at the same.  Employ the homeless to manually operate stoplights.  Most stoplights are horribly inefficient.  How many times have you been stuck at a red light and there are no cars or pedestrians going the opposite way?  Or having to sit through multiple iterations of a light because they dont stay green long enough in the busy direction.  Happens all the time to me.  The homeless are mostly just sitting at these corners anyway.  So why not employ them to manually operate them to be more efficient and you solve two problems at once.   

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4 minutes ago, Scoresman said:

I've had an idea for a while now to help put the homeless to work and also solve traffic issues in these cities at the same.  Employ the homeless to manually operate stoplights.  Most stoplights are horribly inefficient.  How many times have you been stuck at a red light and there are no cars or pedestrians going the opposite way?  Or having to sit through multiple iterations of a light because they dont stay green long enough in the busy direction.  Happens all the time to me.  The homeless are mostly just sitting at these corners anyway.  So why not employ them to manually operate them to be more efficient and you solve two problems at once.   

I appreciate the thought but I don’t want the potentially crazy drug addict controlling the lights. 

I’d go with the cleaning up the city idea from above.

A great deal of homeless are simply mentally disturbed. There’s not really a great solution. 

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15 minutes ago, The General said:

I appreciate the thought but I don’t want the potentially crazy drug addict controlling the lights. 

I’d go with the cleaning up the city idea from above.

A great deal of homeless are simply mentally disturbed. There’s not really a great solution. 

If only we had some kind of final solution to fix this.

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5 hours ago, NutterButter said:

Is being homeless in a big city with a mild climate that much more appealing that being homeless in a rural area with a mild climate?  If so, why?

begging is a numbers game.  it's all about the money.

what's the solution?  i don't know.  i grew up in the heart of downtown LA.  i've always felt that handouts, of any kind, kept them more likely to stay homeless. 

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3 hours ago, tommyboy said:

portland resident.  all my life.   did a report on this in HS  where i went all around portland filming and talking to homeless people, the shelters, social workers, police and local government.

I've seen the homeless situation my entire adult life, i live in portland, there are homeless people all around me.   

 

biggest change in the homeless situation here in Portland is twofold.   Major one is gov't mental health services are all but gone compared to 30 years ago.   next major one in portland at least is the decision by mayor not to enforce camping laws on books, so we now have tent towns all over the place on sidewalks and grassy areas under overpasses etc.    3rd one is the continuing drug problems of society.    I would estimate that 50-60% of the homeless population doesn't want to be homeless but reached a point in life they had no options.   the other 40% approx is mentally ill people and or drug/alcohol issue people that end up homeless.   

i have one idea how to solve the issue but i'm sure very few people would agree.    Build (either public/private or combo) housing like dorms that they can live in the deal is this

for free room and board and 3 hot meals a day, all you have to do is work for 20 hrs week for the city doing beautification projects such as picking up litter on roadsides, covering graffiti, planting flowers here or there etc.    that's for the people that don't want to be homeless and just need a hand.   The other part of the dorms/facilities is mental health and drug/alcohol services where you can take the truly needy and help them   

In this regard, you can give these people the help they need, remove and reverse most of the visual blight we currently are witnessing, and genuinely help solve the problem at the people level.   I'd rather my tax money go to this than building new bike lanes or light rail services.   

As a Portland resident, I could get behind this. Problem is there would have to be management of those that are supposed to do the work. Good luck with that.

I've only lived here 19 years, but it's gotten so much worse in the last 5-10.

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8 hours ago, NutterButter said:

Is being homeless in a big city with a mild climate that much more appealing that being homeless in a rural area with a mild climate?  If so, why?

More panhandling and access to mind altering substances in Metro areas. Also more social services, including health care.

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6 hours ago, tommyboy said:

portland resident.  all my life.   did a report on this in HS  where i went all around portland filming and talking to homeless people, the shelters, social workers, police and local government.

I've seen the homeless situation my entire adult life, i live in portland, there are homeless people all around me.   

 

biggest change in the homeless situation here in Portland is twofold.   Major one is gov't mental health services are all but gone compared to 30 years ago.   next major one in portland at least is the decision by mayor not to enforce camping laws on books, so we now have tent towns all over the place on sidewalks and grassy areas under overpasses etc.    3rd one is the continuing drug problems of society.    I would estimate that 50-60% of the homeless population doesn't want to be homeless but reached a point in life they had no options.   the other 40% approx is mentally ill people and or drug/alcohol issue people that end up homeless.   

i have one idea how to solve the issue but i'm sure very few people would agree.    Build (either public/private or combo) housing like dorms that they can live in the deal is this

for free room and board and 3 hot meals a day, all you have to do is work for 20 hrs week for the city doing beautification projects such as picking up litter on roadsides, covering graffiti, planting flowers here or there etc.    that's for the people that don't want to be homeless and just need a hand.   The other part of the dorms/facilities is mental health and drug/alcohol services where you can take the truly needy and help them   

In this regard, you can give these people the help they need, remove and reverse most of the visual blight we currently are witnessing, and genuinely help solve the problem at the people level.   I'd rather my tax money go to this than building new bike lanes or light rail services.   

As someone who rarely agrees with you politically, this is a very good post.  A lot of the people on the streets today would have been institutionalized 40 years ago. 

An angle you don't cover is that a lot of these cities make it very hard to build additional housing units through their regulations.  SF is a glaring example.  That makes the problems worse. 

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3 hours ago, E Street Brat said:

Thanks Trump

 

 

yet all the mayors of the cities the OP listed, including NYC and Honolulu are all Democrats?  coincidence? 

Blame the fed all you want, but this is a local problem and needs to be addressed at a lower, situational level.

We need to stop expecting the Fed to bail us out of every problem. We are a nation of independent states for a reason. The country is just too large for the feds to solve every issue. 

Edit to add: Watching the news report listed and all the people on the ground (cops, civil service) claim they have been told by their local govt to esetially stand down and let it happen. Who makes those decisions, not the feds?  

Edit 2: it seems the program they profile in RI is working and RI has a Democratic governor and mayor, so credit where it's due. I don't like making party generalizations but there is a common thread in those other cities.

Edited by glvsav37
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11 hours ago, stlrams said:

Spend 2 days a few years ago as part of vacation in SF.  Will never go back.  Read a few articles saying city losing tourism dollars and major conferences...

I’m about to do the same on a couple weeks....anything there worth seeing? May go Sausalito for those days. 

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12 minutes ago, GoBirds said:

I’m about to do the same on a couple weeks....anything there worth seeing? May go Sausalito for those days. 

Muir Woods are amazing and I always love the Ferry Building on a Saturday. 

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31 minutes ago, GoBirds said:

I’m about to do the same on a couple weeks....anything there worth seeing? May go Sausalito for those days. 

Rent bike near Fisherman’s Wharf ride over GG bridge to Sausalito have a beer take Ferry back. 

Or rent bike near GG park and ride through the  Park down to the windmill, there’s a beer garden nearby. 

Both rides are easy and highly recommended.

Eat at Suppenküche. Love that place.

Anything north of GG bridge is beautiful. 

Great city, stay away from Union Square area it’s not the best.

Ferry Terminal Building for lunch.

ETA: of course Alcatraz and Giants game.

Edited by The General
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9 hours ago, GoBirds said:

I’m about to do the same on a couple weeks....anything there worth seeing? May go Sausalito for those days. 

I wouldn’t stay in the city unless you enjoy people beggging for handouts, urinating on streets, sleeping everywhere and doing drugs with police looking the other way.  Would stay outside and travel in for sight seeing or a giant game which we enjoyed. Nice ballpark.  I would also recommend Alcatraz.  

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