Flutterby™! : homelessness

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2007-01-19 14:30:04.215209+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Jay pointed to Cathy Salustri: I am a heartless bitch, which talks a little bit about homelessness issues in the context of a particular camp near St. Petersburg, Florida, but I think most of what she says applies to anywhere.

[ related topics: Sociology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-19 16:38:41.277651+00 by: petronius

Seems to me that there are several cohorts of the homeless. Some people have just had some sort of financial meltdown and ended up on the street, but they have the internal resources to regain some stability and shelter with a bit of help. Then we have the wandering crazy folk, who lack the mental capacity to make proper decisions. And then we have a group in between, people who are lucid and fairly healthy, but seem to have some psychological barrier to fedning for themselves. I should qualify that last; some of these people are very energetic in looking after themselves, but have there satisfaction level set so low that they become successful street people and stop there. What program, or set of programs will help all three groups? I fear that group 2 might need to become wards of the state to get them help, while group 3 just won't cooperate. What do we do?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-19 16:55:50.91352+00 by: Dan Lyke

Charlene just finished reading The Pursuit of Happyness[Wiki], which is about the first class, and that's next up on my list. Don't know if it'll answer any questions, but it seems like it'll raise some more. I've known a couple of people in the third class, and that's a lifestyle, so be it. Helping the second class runs dangerously close to all sorts of civil liberties issues, especially if you're, say, in the deep south where religious families might want to enlist the state in using coercion against their children who have strayed from the path.

I think the mistake that our society makes is in assuming that everyone falls into the first class. I'd guess that that's a small minority.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-19 17:55:05.600425+00 by: Jerry Kindall

Don't forget the drug addicts, which I guess you can lump in with group 2, though it might be more feasible to help them.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-19 20:47:01.844347+00 by: Dan Lyke

I believe that "addiction" is a symptom of either #2 (mental illness) or #3 (lifestyle choice). I've known plenty of people who've gone through periods of their lives where they did "too many" drugs, changed focus and direction, and walked away from things that most would term "addiction". And others who have compulsions that have destroyed their lives, and those compulsions have had nothing to do with mind-altering substances.

Drugs are a symptom, not a cause.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-19 22:20:00.375932+00 by: TheSHAD0W

It'd help enormously if we were allowed to hire people without having to contribute to social security, pay estimated taxes, follow OSHA guidelines and minimum wage laws...

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-20 13:30:49.49762+00 by: jeff

We're already doing that, but they're not American citizens (i.e. illegal immigrants).

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-20 14:28:04.536166+00 by: meuon [edit history]

That an illegal immigrant without English/American language skills, few job skills beyond manual labor, can find gainful employment, live in a house/apartment (often shared), pay bills, and send significant amounts back home to Mexico, Guatamala, etc.. is one of my personal proof's that homelessness is a choice.

I also have some near-homeless friends, who live that way by choice, they own good camping gear, travel a -lot-, and take whatever jobs they can when they need cash. It's not hard. In this country, or many others, even "2nd/3rd" world ones.