[ExI] Homelessness (was Re: Social right to have a living)

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Wed Jun 29 01:13:38 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 12:51 AM, Damien Sullivan
<phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> On Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 11:58:32PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> Giving homeless people a home sounds like a really good idea, until
>> you actually try it. They don't know how to take care of a home. They
> Depends on why they're homeless.  Some are perfectly well-adjusted
> people with jobs who live out of cars because that's all they can
> afford.

Yes. I've been that kind of homeless myself. Those kinds of people,
like I did, end up figuring it out and getting out of the car by
themselves, with their families, with their support groups, whatever
it takes. Generally, this sort of person is not a part of the long
term homelessness problem that is the more major issue. There is a lot
of help out there for people who need it short term, the harder part
is dealing with long term homelessness.

>> Many homeless in the US are mentally ill, turned out on the streets by
>> well meaning liberals at the ACLU.
> Turned out on the streets by Reagan slashing supportive programs is the
> version I know.

No, but it happened during the Reagan administration. I have done a
little research on this, but apparently the ACLU is still suing the VA
over mental illness issues up to the current time, making real data on
the original problem hard to find. The best discussion I could find
was on snopes:
Apparently, Reagan got this rap not so much as president, but as
governor of California. The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), passed
by the legislature & signed into law in 1967 by Governor Ronald
Reagan. There is a Wikipedia article on that...
It sounds like one of those laws that looks good on paper, but has
unintended consequences.

There are a few vague references to the ACLU filing suit on behalf of
people who were ok as long as they took their meds, were released,
then stopped taking their meds.

If anyone else has specifics on this, I want to be correct about this.
What I've always heard though is that the ACLU forced public
institutions to be shut down. Now it seems that budget cutters like
Reagan were OK with this too, and it created a perfect storm of cracks
for people to fall into. It isn't always as simple as some people make
it out to be.

>> Not all homeless people are created equal, and some would do well if
>> you just gave them a house. I would submit that the percentage that
>> would do well in this situation is lower than you might think.
> Or higher than you might think.  Foreclosures, battered women and their
> children, "welfare reform" that cuts off after five years even if
> employment is not available, falling support for low-income housing,
> medical bankruptcy...
> http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/why.html

I found this rather devoid of useful facts. These are massaged
statistics, that have an agenda. There is, for example, no distinction
between short term and long term homelessness. Foreclosure, for
example, more often results in short term homelessness, while mental
illness more often results in long term homelessness. If you find
statistics on "homeless days", that is how many man-hours are spent in
the condition of being homeless, then I think we can have a realistic
discussion of the problem. However, I think it unlikely that you will
find such useful data on such a hot political topic.

> Talks about various factors, and puts 16% as mentally ill.

Yeah, and how long were they homeless?

I see absolutely zero on that page about voluntary homelessness. Just
as Spike said the other day, some of us live in a state of perpetual
propertylessness by choice (I do). And many homeless people I have
talked to are in that state out of choice as well. Not all, by any
means, but to leave them out of the equation all together is insincere
on the part of nationalhomelessness.org  even if it's only a few

> Anyway, the thought experiment you're responding to wasn't even about
> providing a full home, just land on which to have a home, or at minimum
> exist without getting kicked around.

I'm past the thought experiment. It didn't do much for me. I thought
it through, and I'm unconvinced that it would be helpful even


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