A Conversation about the Homeless

StarSong

Awkward is my Superpower
Harvard Health Newsletter -- a quarter to a third of homeless people are mentally ill

The homeless mentally ill - Harvard Health

About a third of homeless people have substance abuse or addiction problems

As to alcohol/drugs:

  • Most research shows that around 1/3 of people who are homeless have problems with alcohol and/or drugs, and around 2/3 of these people have lifetime histories of drug or alcohol use disorders.6
Substance Abuse & Homelessness: Statistics & Rehab Treatment (americanaddictioncenters.org)

When I add one-third and one-third, I get two-thirds. Even allowing for some overlap between the categories, it's more than half. And advocates for the homeless tend to play down these figures, because they lessen sympathy for the homeless, which shouldn't be the case.

That's where I got my "facts". Where do you get yours?
This squares with my (decidedly unscientific) observations. The majority of homeless people I see have addiction or mental illness problems, often both.
 

StarSong

Awkward is my Superpower
You can't make them "address their addictions" unless you make everyone NOT homeless do the same. Its discriminatory.
Says who?

It's not discriminatory to require clean drug and alcohol tests of homeless people who are given free housing. That's why a lot of them don't want to go into shelters. They don't want to follow the rules, namely that they have to be sober.
 

JimBob1952

Senior Member
You can't make them "address their addictions" unless you make everyone NOT homeless do the same. Its discriminatory.

And trying to do that only leaves them homeless, so you STILL have a problem. Even the homeless have rights.

Sorry, you don't have the right to sleep on the street or in a public park. Or let me say, you shouldn't have the right to sleep on the street or in a public park. What about the rights of others to live undisturbed by needles, human waste and other bad things?
 
Sorry, you don't have the right to sleep on the street or in a public park. Or let me say, you shouldn't have the right to sleep on the street or in a public park. What about the rights of others to live undisturbed by needles, human waste and other bad things?
So some people's rights are more important than others? I was referring to their right to have their addictions, but you twisted that. Perhaps if there were less NIMBY self interest, a better solution could be found.
 

Dr. Jekyll

New Member
Location
Florida
And what about when "the homeless" are given and accept housing.. but are not required to do anything in their own behalf, not even required to address their addictions? "Self-determination" and "rights" can go too far.
I think we just have to accept that there are a certain percentage of folks who are going to take the path of least resistance regardless of what society tries to do for them. That's why I say give them a subsistence level living environment in one of these economic refugee camps, and, as long as they don't cause problems, leave them be. Just don't let them do it anywhere else.
 

SeniorBen

Senior Member
I think we just have to accept that there are a certain percentage of folks who are going to take the path of least resistance regardless of what society tries to do for them. That's why I say give them a subsistence level living environment in one of these economic refugee camps, and, as long as they don't cause problems, leave them be. Just don't let them do it anywhere else.
Camps would only work for people who want to work and improve their lives. Those that don't would remain on the streets. Of course, many of those who would remain on the streets have severe mental health problems. Why else would someone want to live like that?
 

David777

Senior Member
Location
Silicon Valley
As someone that came of age during the counterculture revolution, I am of a "Let It Be" attitude. But that does not mean people can do anything if such affects others especially if that hurts others. People choose to live in filth, let em. What a clothing a person wears is their own business but does not mean they can go around naked that offends others or smell like a skunk or bring a boombox with RAP music into your supermarket. What goes on in people's bedrooms is their own business but that does not mean trafficking people for sXX even if they approve. What substances people consume isolated from the rest of us is their own business but don't expect the rest of us to pay for problems that causes. Much more.

With substance abusers in cities, I'm fine with them doing such well away from the rest of us and that means not where we can see them or their activities including their street dealing and property crimes. Thus if they are wealthy doing so in their own home, fine. I'd be all for having designated places say some town out away from the rest of us where they could do what they want, say on an island or out in the middle of the Nevada sagebrush desert ala the movie "Escape From New York". Just don't expect the rest of us to pay, attend, clean up, bury ODs, or have to experience it in any way.
 
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CarolfromTX

Senior Member
Location
Central Texas
My guess is that homeless people are homeless because they’ve made a long series of bad decisions. What I’m sure of is that if you subsidize something, you get more of it. So if you make it easy to be homeless, you’re going to get more takers, so to speak. Compassion is one thing; enabling is something altogether different.
 


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