Homelessness is a Democrat disease, here’s the cure

PHOENIX – Homelessness is on the rise in Phoenix and across the country, but nowhere are the increases as dramatic as they are in Democrat-strongholds where misplaced compassion, bad policy choices, and the liberal superiority complex have created a toxic web of broken programs that serve neither the needs of the public at large, or our homeless populations.

Far from moving people efficiently from street to home (or, at least, as close to efficiently as is possible given the target population), the systems Democrats have created only serve to entrap the homeless in an endless series of government programs that no amount of funding will ever fix.

How did we get here? Courtesy of the same misplaced liberal compassion that brought us safe spaces and trophies for losers. If their programs and ideas worked, Phoenix wouldn’t have experienced a 149 percent increase in chronic street homelessness in just a few years.

After all, we’re spending more money on services and programs for the homeless than ever before. And Phoenix has been lucky. In cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle – places where Democrats have had a completely free hand to institute their programs – the problem is far, far worse. If you want to eradicate homelessness, don’t take advice from people who reward losing.

At the behest of liberals, governments today focus on “homeless support services”. But it isn’t support: it’s enabling. Enabling is the absolute worst thing we can do for our homeless population. They need our support, and – yes – our love. But it needs to be tough love.

If you have a family member with a drug addiction, do experts tell you to keep a roof over their head, keep putting money in their pocket, and blindly hope that they will change? No. The best drug addiction specialists will all tell you the same thing: cut them off, let them hit rock bottom. Offer absolutely zero support for their addiction, but complete support for their recovery. We need to approach homelessness the same way.

We need to start out with the premise that we, as a society, do not accept chronic street homelessness as a way of life. It is not a choice. It is not a product of uncontrollable circumstance. Homelessness must be viewed not as the result of forces beyond the control of the individuals suffering from it, but as the result of bad decisions that they themselves made.

In short, we have to stop accepting the narrative of victimhood produced by the Liberal Superiority Complex that defines anyone living on the street as incapable of making positive decisions for themselves. Do that and we can make real headway on addressing chronic homelessness to the benefit of both the individuals involved, and society at large.

First, yes, we have to have the resources in place to transition people from the street back into being productive members of society. That means the resources we make available will need to include a broad range of drug and mental health treatment, life skills development, transition housing, and jobs programs. Those things are costly, and we will have to pay the cost, whatever it may be (though there is a strong argument to be made that taking this approach up front will dramatically reduce the financial burden on cities over the long term).

Then comes the tough part. We have to give our homeless population a stark and simple choice: clean up or clear out. The only way to do that is by ruthlessly enforcing public nuisance, trespassing, vagrancy, and minor criminal laws to make staying in Phoenix, without committing to a treatment and life rehabilitation plan, basically impossible for homeless individuals.

The optics of this plan are a big part of the reason no city has yet attempted it – whoever is first out of the gate with such an approach will absolutely be called every hateful name in the book by Democrats. But who cares? Democrats already call anyone they disagree with all those same hateful names, and under their misguided guidance homelessness is exploding nationwide.

Cities across the country, including Phoenix, have to decide whether it is truly compassionate to allow these trends to continue, or if it is time to take a stand and start expecting our homeless population to take on the same responsibility for their own welfare that we demand of any other citizen.

We can either continue down the road traveled by so many liberal cities; a road that ends with miles upon miles of homeless encampments, crime, disease, and feces. Or we can follow the conservative path of personal responsibility, and finally see light at the end of this tunnel for the legions of people who find themselves trapped on the streets of a never-ending nightmare conjured up by liberal dreamers.

12 Comments

  1. Sam Stone has produced a truly excellent article! He makes important points.
    If I may, please, let me disagree with two points:
    1) Not all homeless people are so because of their own errors or faults or flaws. One of the most horrible aspects of the expanding homeless numbers is that more women and children are homeless, absolutely through no fault of their own.
    Still others, non-drinkers, non-drug-abusers, are homeless because of moronic government policies that have driven so many U.S. businesses to close, leaving people unemployed. (Among those moronic policies is one that Arizona is guilty of and is discussed in a nearby article: the economically illiterate law mandating a minimum wage. Hey, if it can be fixed with a law, why stop at $15? Why not $20? Or, why be cheap, why not $50?)
    If there are no jobs — and such is certainly the case in my neighborhood! — then neither the currently homeless nor anyone else can find one.
    2) The guilty advocates and practitioners of these damaging policies are not “liberals.” Even they themselves no longer try to call themselves “liberals.”
    The word “liberal” originally had a connection to liberty, and the folks to whom writer Stone applies the word “liberal” have no interest in nor connection to liberty.
    No, a much better phrase is the one I use and urge others to use: “left-collectivist.”
    They are also “statists” and should be so labeled, and should be shamed for holding such immoral and irrational beliefs.
    Mr. Stone calls the problem “a Democrat disease,” and he is mostly correct. Our economic dislocations, including homelessness, are directly attributable to statist and collectivist policies trying to micro-manage the economy, the policies advocated by Democrats.
    Sure, the statists and collectivists will try to claim “compassion” as their motivator but, boy, talk about unintended consequences, all their “compassion” does is rob working and producing people, give hefty salaries to government bureaucrats, and leave more and more people sleeping in the streets.
    Sam Stone has offered some more nearly rational policies. Since they are rational, I’m sure the politicians will ignore them.
    And raise gasoline taxes instead.

    • I have to differ with you on the points being made.
      1) No jobs. That simply is not true. Open your news paper. There are hundreds of jobs that need to be filled. Getting a job usually involves making choices. Do you stay where you are? Or do you walk to the area that has a job and start to work? Do you accept minimum wage until you get your stamina back up or do you turn down every job offer below what you used to make? Go to the Employment Office. They have businesses that have jobs that need fulfilled too. Some have classes on resume writing, skills development, and grooming techniques. Bye the time a business goes posting in the Employment Office, the jobs are usually given to the first person through the door. And then there are Temporary Employment Offices that are Private Sector for jobs that give 90 days to find the right recruit or have limited production runs. They are all about getting the person into the right job so that their company looks good. And finally, the Yellow Pages. Make a thousand resumes and submit them to businesses that you would like to work at and you have the skill set to improve them. I personally got two job offers this way. You have to be coy about this. Make that business seem like the only place you have ever submitted a job application to. Talk in terms of career opportunity rather than job. It possible to land your dream job this way. But it will take a lot of rejection before you will even get a possible answer. Not everybody is cut for this last method.
      2. You are fogging up the issue. Liberal, statist, collectivist, Democrats… all of these ideas are very different from one another. Using an old outdated definition of Liberal to make your point just confuses people even more. But I do see your point. So you can add other things like Socialism, bureaucrats, and proletariat to your list. Maybe instead of trying to be definition perfect, being what definition current trends is probably more correct. So stating Liberal is the correct term to use. Because modern day Liberalism has absolutely nothing to do with Liberty and personnel choice.

      • No, I am not “fogging up the issue.” Everything I said is clear, correct, and lucid.
        You just have a much lower opinion of Arizonans’ intelligence than I do.
        Plus, you obviously haven’t been homeless and tried to find a job. You need to do a lot more research, Joe Durham.
        I think you mean well. At least I hope you do. But you have made several errors. Several.

      • Finding a job when you have no permanent address, and you may smell, look ragged, have bad teeth/hair etc. is a challenge. Mental illness is another significant challenge that makes an otherwise able-bodied person difficult to hire. Best wishes to those out there who are trying to get back into the routine of a regular job and blessings on those who help the difficult-to-hire folks.

    • Good points but I must add where in the world are the families of these homeless people? If people are truly homeless because of no fault of their own (ie; addictions) why do their family do not extend a helping hand?

      • Well, GSM, take a look around you and tell me how many families take care of their own parents? Or maybe the question might be, how did they get this way? No education in school? Parents who “give up” because it is too hard to keep the children in line? A government that interferes and thinks they know how to raise a child?

  2. Nice read. But, you still don’t understand the Democrat party. There is a method to their madness. Every Democrat that is in office has only one goal. That is to put 51% of the voting population on the Public Dole one way or another. They will hire them into bloated bureaucracies or increase welfare to the point where getting a job would be a downgrade in lifestyle. These two groups will ALWAYS vote Democrat. Just look at all of the areas that have had complete Democrat control for decades. You will find HUGE bureaucracies with multiple departments overlapping and HUGE welfare apparatuses that are more self-serving than public serving.

    • Exactly! This is the motivation behind Pima County Supervisor Elias`s attempt to use up to another $53 million over the next ten years to “support” non-profits, a step which would create another huge group of people dependent on the Pima taxpayer for the continued subsidization of the non-profits they work for and the non-profit workers` paychecks.

  3. A very well stated article. Progressive socialism is the disease that will be the ruin of of great Republic. Just look at Venezuela!

  4. I just watched the 3 part movie “ATLAS SHRUGGED” on netflix. Take it for what its worth but it is set in the current atmosphere of today. Granted the original book was out in 1957, it was neatly crafted to fit the world of today.

    Youcan plainly see the gov’t of bho, peelousey and all the rest of the left to include the new comers who want to force socialism down everyone’s throats. The lefts ideas are accepted as they are going to creat a level field where everyone gets the same without having to work. They force business to follow 1 gov’t rule after another and the people do not question as the the MSM has them believing its for their ow good, a common good.

    If ya get a chance watch it, if you are eat up with the dumb ass dont.

  5. this is the time in which we live, these are the symptoms of a failing falling nation and world – these are the times in which we live at the end – all predicted – all well described – all happening as expected. Reality – you are here. “X” Keep the lamp full – it’s not going to be getting better this is the tip of the iceberg – pray. God Bless America God Bless Israel.

    • I agree with you Billy, there is all kinds of talk about reasons, party and group names,theories and so on, but when it comes down to it, The old children’s song at Sunday school says it all “the Bible tells me so”.

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