Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Silver Bullet

In order for us to understand what public policy might actually help improve cities with a large homeless population, then we need to understand what assumptions public policy makers might have about the homeless which work against public interest.

Much of homelessness policy has revolved around finding a single solution to homelessness.  However, the solution to homelessness must be as complex as homeless people themselves.  A single solution always leaves many homeless people out of the public equation.  

Giving the homeless apartments doesn’t meet the need of those who have claustrophobia, or PTSD for being around groups of people (although it does give them a place to securely store their belongings).  Tiny houses is a more expensive solution that doesn’t work for the homeless that gather large quantities of items in order to provide security in their lives.  Job training works for those ready to leap into a job, which is not the majority of chronic homeless.  Criminalizing homeless activity is not only unconstitutional, but it doesn’t give the homeless any incentive to solve their own issues.  

Any solution must be a multifaceted solution, there is no one answer.

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