Ending Homelessness vs ending poverty

Homelessness is a complex issue. Different categories of homelessness.

While we can't end homelessness in its entirety. To a degree, maybe we shouldn't try to achieve *that* goal. In short, it is not possible for a lot of reasons. However, problems with homelessness are varied. Some of it is societal. Some of it is the individuals (non-homeless and homeless individuals). 

There are people merely homeless for bad circumstances. Some for psychiatric level mental illness (psychiatric... meaning mental illnesses that are of psychiatric nature generally addressed with drugs but that can be arguably problematic). and there are those that are what I would say is psychological mental illness. This latter type is frequently misdiagnosed as psychiatric because psychiatrists can sometimes be basically peddling drugs (glorified drug dealers). Remember, the professionals in the profession aren't all perfect and noble people. The consequences can be, you f*** up the patient more and that in turn creates a major downward spiral in their lives.

Homeless has been categorized in 3 broad categories of homeless based on three general durations/frequency of homelessness. The longer and more frequent a person is homeless, the more likely they are mentally ill psychologically vs psychiatric. Psychiatric mental illness would be diagnosed and already involve medical professionals and would be considered disabled and they would get disability which will already clear obstacles for certain aid including housing aid as well as aid for medicine. Those will often get removed out of the homeless condition because those under these conditions (under severe mental illnesses) will ususally be deemed as "incapable of managing their own affairs" and the like and is effectively deemed that their capacity is like that of a child and requires their affairs to be handled by another adult. In other words, they would likely be removed from a homelessness setting because they can not receive the medical care treatment. Pychiatric mental illness falls into medical health care.

Most chronically homeless would be psychological mental illness based. This ranges from mild to severe. Most are substance abuse and/or behavioral or both. This is the kind that are often aggressive, vulgar, etc. Anger management issues, etc. 

Having said that, there is some interesting points by Donna:

This whole topic makes me so sad because it is such a complex entrenched problem and I just don’t really know what we can do about it. I do know there’s no silver bullet, but….housing first does seem most effective.

The issue of not having an address is a huge problem. One can’t get an ID without an address and one can’t get an address without an ID. You can’t get a copy of your birth certificate, so that you can get an ID so that you can get an address, if you don’t have an address . 

The vast majority of Social Security administration communication goes through the post office. If you don’t have an address where are you supposed to get your notifications about your Social Security benefits?  You can do some stuff online, which means having access to an internet-connected device, which means going to the library. But to get a Social Security debit card you have to have an address.

Donna has some good points but an employer doesn't have a good need to have the ID or Driver's license unless the job requires driving as part of the job to drive company vehicles. Otherwise, no. If a job requires going to a job site, they just need to see if they have a current & valid driver's license. What an employer may need is a copy of the Social Security card.

To get the social security debit, you should at least be able to show a photo ID, a state one with your SSN and a even a student ID with a newer photo if you don't have a newer state ID but if you have a newer driver's license, you should use that as a photographic reference. Birth certificate if you have one and should get a copy of it when you're 18 by going through the hoops to get it ideally before hand. If you need the SS debit card thing, if you are homeless, they should have it delivered to your local branch. They should retain it for 6 or 12 months which means, you should have plenty of time to come back and pick it up. There should be a system where if you are homeless, an alternate address like a social services office of some form that may provide assistance on that front. The state ID card should not necessarily be current but ideally recent enough. Something that can adequately show and correlates to the SSN. Similarly for foreigners. ID cards should be within the last 15 years. You should look close enough to how you looked 15 years ago (with exceptions to be noted) except you get a few more grey/white hairs and wrinkles. You should otherwise be recognizable as the same person. Of course, the newer the better. 

This is something, you should already have. Parents should already have a copy of your birth certificate or get you a copy when you are in High school. If you need an address, if you have a parent, sibling, or friend that you can have it mailed to, use that address. They don't go to that much effort to verify you actually live there. You just need to get there. The thing you need is the social security card. This is what the employer needs especially for initial employment and most minimum wage jobs. 

I agree that we need affordable housing at at least 20% of the housing for rent should be priced to not exceed 20% of minimum wage income for rent + water/sewer & trash (utilities not metered by the apartment units). At least 40% of those units shall not exceed 20% of half-time (20 hrs a week) @ minimum wage. I recommend converting old closed motels like some old motel 6 motels that were replaced by newer ones into low income housing which would allow them to have an address as long as they have the income to pay. They can even have mail box units with an address. This would resolve those issues. Some people may need housing aid and such.

The living conditions would be better than living homeless. 

Therefore, we need to encourage and build an atmosphere for people who are homeless to have an avenue out of homelessness. Pathways out of those conditions is necessary. This isn't just camping the weekend in the woods. This is a serious issue. This isn't warm humid Florida or warm and not as humid southern California. The climate can be hazardous for homeless. However, housing isn't and for the most part does not exist for free for non-disabled individuals. If you can work and are able, you are expected to get a job and work to have a place. Landlords are not giving away apartments to homeless to live and reside, rent free. Humans just don't love others that much unless they are family. No one is going to convince the U.S., let alone the world, to love each other that much. Even if they allow someone into their home, it is for maybe 3 months. Maybe 6 months but they would expect them to secure a job in 3 months and move out in the next 3 months. The exact number of months varies but a grace period of 3 months from that point for 9 months but people want them out within 12 months in general. 

Societal views just aren't going to change just because of forums like this one 'yelling' at one another. 

It should also be noted, not all homeless people can be helped. For SOME of the chronically homeless, the help had been attempted at this point after a couple years or more. They won't attempt to get a job or anything else. They will gladly take your money but they won't use it for what you intended them to and they damn well know, you can't do anything about it after you handed them the money. You are better off exercising better control in the process. This means, housing aid, if provided, is handled by the agency to the landlord. 

x-jla made a good point in another thread: "...they need to be transitioned into being productive members of their community. That may not mean making money. It may be some other form of usefulness. People gain meaning in life from being useful to others. That’s what humans are. We are social creatures. Why would you want to deny the homeless of that most basic thing. Responsibility to others and the community is the ultimate way to uplift people who have lost their place in society. Yes, a homeless person who becomes a little more responsible, motivated, etc will see some improvement in life."

The essential point, I agree with for those who can be helped. Those who refuse to be productive members of their community and wishes to be just derelicts leeching off the good grace of others to perpetuate their derelict waste of life. This means a different tact may be necessary. (No, not dropping them off into the middle of the ocean)

Getting people out of homelessness and into a place to live, and if they are able,working at a job. It's only a partial solution to a larger issue as a poverty. 

Poverty is a bigger issue and also deals with issues of people who are not homeless but arguably at the cliff's edge from homelessness. Ending poverty would be great but then there is the question: How?

How and the method raises its concerns. Socialism and communism (well, more socialism before dictatorships consume control), they have proposed programs like universal income where everyone is paid equally.... this raised the question, what would be the initiative and drive to work? The historic precedence were such where everyone got paid the same whether they work 0 hours a week or they worked 160+ hours a week and anywhere in between. 

This is not Star Trek The Next Generation future era. It's pretty much fantasy that human society will turn into that overnight. It would likely take close to 1000 years to transition. Humans civilization pretty much are more like Ferengis than the Federation in that its monetary based. 

So, how exactly can we end poverty and by extension, end some of the homeless situations (it will never be 100% ended because there are those who are displaced by natural disasters and essentially homeless, those who lost their job and recently become homeless and needs a path out of the homeless situation.

We need more opportunities for employment. We need livable wages suitable to live comfortably but not necessarily luxuriously. We need places where students, and part-time and full-time minimum wage workforce can afford to rent, buy food, etc. and not require working 3-4 jobs. 

How do we balance between compassion and necessary "hard love" in some of the cases? We also need to encourage those that can work.... to get work, stay employed, and get into an apartment or buy a house but a place to live. Laziness and abusing drugs and alcohol should not be tolerated as acceptable excuses.

We also need to remove impediments that are not necessary. Examples: credit score checks on homeless. Requiring a state ID or driver's license for mere employment. If the job requires driving company vehicle or delivery service, a driver's license is needed. ID even expired should be sufficient because any ID number should pull up info for any state ID info but the SSN number is what an employer needs or an equivalent federal ID number for foreigners working in the U.S.  

There SHOULD (although it had not always been) always be reasonably affordable housing and reasonable wage/salary jobs. 

We should have pathways out of homelessness, criminality (in a number of cases), and poverty. However, it takes the will on their part. We can help those who have that will but for those that don't... it won't really solve anything for them. Homelessness itself is not a crime but trespassing is and a number of activities quite a few, but not all, homeless people do engage in, are.

I am not sure building them glorified dog houses as shelters is the solution. It's possible that it helps individuals but a solution needs to help many and also bring people out of homelessness, back into working and having a place. Being homeless impedes good hygiene which is necessary for good health. It would also prevent or get in the way of getting employed. Employers will have varying standards but the higher the pay, the more likely the higher the standards of first impression. This will not change and not a single employer is going to forego those standards. They may do a little accommodation here and there but that will only go so far. 

This topic involves multiple categories... employment, culture, politics, and more so I'll leave it under general discussion... possible random tangents. 

As I see it, there are a lot of issues. It is clear that I don't have a lot of sympathy for certain homeless people, it is not my opinion of all of them. There are good, so-so, mildly bad, and downright rotten. My opinion is, if they have the commitment to change their situation and improve their socioeconomic situation, career, gainful employment, living conditions, a place as home, they should be supported but they need to be as much if not more of the work than the helpers. Part of picking up ones own life by the bootstrap is about not wallowing in self-pity and get up, take responsibility for steering the "ship of life" out of the situation they are in. This means taking responsibility for decisions made before and/or after the situation began. It means, taking the helm of one's own life and steer it on a course to prosperity (not about money but more than that). We can help with navigating. We can help them prepare for that adventure. We must not do it for them.

There are those who will only want to focus the dialogue on a few things I write or wrote. However, if they want the monopoly on the problem solving, I have a test ground for them to bring real solutions and implement it. Time for them to put their time, money, and talent to solve the issues, right here in little town of Astoria, Oregon or shut up. If they can't solve the issues in a little town, how the hell can they solve it in a bigger city like Portland, Oregon or cities like Seattle, WA., Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, etc.

Feb 6, 23 7:49 pm

I hope you get the help you very obviously need Rick. Obsessing over your disdain for unhoused people can't be good for you.

Feb 6, 23 8:28 pm  · 
3  · 

I'm not going to read all this. 

A note to everyone else: having an elaborate opinion on the issue will impact only your own happiness until you become engaged with local politics. 

I realize for some of you that means donating to centrist fearmongers and calling the police on neighbors. For others, you'll realize that there are simple, concrete actions that we all can take to help each other out, now. Your time and attention to your own community is worth far more than 2,000 words online. 

Feb 6, 23 8:51 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

That's quite the hobby... Ricky.

Meme Creator - Funny I didn't wear safety googles in the lab and now I'm  homeless unemployed and half Meme Generator at!

Feb 6, 23 9:01 pm  · 
3  · 

What if some homeless people like it that way, to be homeless and wild and free? who needs mortgage and rent and housing when a cardboard box has a much much smaller carbon footprint. Less is more

Feb 6, 23 9:26 pm  · 
1  · 

Why don't you submit an op-ed to The New York Times, or Archinect?

Feb 7, 23 2:23 am  · 
Wilma Buttfit

A dear friend of mine is experiencing homelessness. This gives me a front row seat into the culture. I’ve been to the camp, I give them food and rides. I didn’t read what you posted Rick, sorry. Is there a summary version? What is this about?

Feb 7, 23 4:22 am  · 
1  · 
Wilma Buttfit

The problem of not having an address… you can get an address. There are places that address this and give you use of their address. I helped my friend do this and get a birth certificate too. It took me 2 minutes to get the certificate but would have taken her half a day. It’s the doing, conforming that’s hard or maybe impossible. It was easy for me, click a few buttons. She got an ID and now just recently a phone. Is working cleaning at a construction project at a house flip where they also let a few of them stay… sleep, cook, shower.

Feb 7, 23 4:56 am  · 
2  · 

Rick posted some abhorrent views on 'dealing' with homeless people a week ago, and was rightly called out for it. Hence this follow up rambling post, which i am definitely not going to be reading.

Feb 7, 23 9:31 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Bench, looks like many of his replies were nuked from this discussion last night. There was a rant about his monthly expenses while living in his parent's house.

Feb 7, 23 11:41 am  · 

Well now im even more glad that i didnt bother reading any of this schlock

Feb 7, 23 12:00 pm  · 
Wilma Buttfit

I can’t read Rick-speak. Makes my mind turn to lava.

Feb 8, 23 8:59 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

“If you find yourself lost in the woods, fuck it, build a house. "Well, I was lost but now I live here! I have severely improved my predicament!"”
— Mitch Hedberg

Feb 7, 23 11:42 am  · 
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Feb 7, 23 1:28 pm  · 
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I wish my name was Brian because maybe sometimes people would misspell my name and call me Brain. That's like a free compliment and you don't even gotta be smart to notice it. 

 Mitch Hedberg

Feb 7, 23 1:33 pm  · 
3  · 

I like where this thread is going.

Feb 7, 23 2:23 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Mitch, visionary.  Solved the housing shortage and no-one noticed.  Give this man a nobel!

Feb 7, 23 2:33 pm  · 
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