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On the Homeless

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Letter to Councilor Flores and the LC Bulletin

On the Homeless I am part of the Mayor’s Homeless Task Force and have thus researched this dilemma extensively. I feel the City Council believes, because the title of this group says they are without home, that providing them with one would be a solutions path. Nothing could be further from the truth as the word “Home” denotes a state of existence that is caring, supportive and safe which many already have in the street community they live within. What you are providing is merely a roof. It may serve a very small portion of them that are actually willing and could become able to return to being functional citizens but beyond that all that it will do, as all the studies show, is move them (actually only a small number of them) to a different enclave so the public does not have to see them leaving the majority that are unwilling to get treatment for their addictions or mental health state still out there in the community they have found to provide the required criteria for them to call it “Home”. The studies show that a more effective approach is to create local inpatient 28 day treatment programs which are far more cost effective than housing. However, still the problem remains that 80% on the streets are either addicts, alcoholics, mentally unstable or a combination of two or more of those afflictions and are not willing to go through the work it takes to change. How one compels them to do this is the real question we should be asking long before finding them a home surrounded by the same poor associations that support and keep them locked in their problem.

Rob Wood

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