What’s the solution here? From what I’ve read, the only thing that really works is giving homeless people free housing… but that seems difficult in wealthy cities where a studio costs $3k/month. Also, if neighboring counties were not offering similar opportunity, your city might get flooded if you did decided to offer everyone a housing voucher… and the general trend seems to be that younger people want to live downtown which puts even more pressure on gentrification/homelessness. Do you put them on a bus to go live in cheaper red states? It really seems to me that this is more of a national issue than a state/city issue.

1 Like

Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City is a first step to understanding the many failures that lead people to become homeless. There’s no one solution because there are many problems that need fixing. Homeless people with disabilities need different solutions than homeless veterans or homeless people with kids, and so on.

Desmond’s suggestion for a concrete, feasible first step is cheap or free legal representation for people being evicted. Landlords have ridiculous amounts of power to evict people who don’t know their rights or who can’t afford to enforce their rights or are rightly afraid of the racist legal system.

what is the whole “homeless veteran”? they all have ptsd? or is it just that only veterans are worthy of charity?

Are you asking me to tell you why veterans are more likely than average to become homeless? Some have PTSD, some have disabilities, some are missing limbs and the like that makes it hard to hold down many jobs, some are regular fuck ups or drunks (like the rest of us).

I’m not sure why you are asking this. Do you think that is my position?

I mean, of course at a basic level everyone deserves a place to sleep, but there’s something to be said about a country that has veterans on food stamps or in a state of homelessness after they’ve put everything on the line for us. I guess if we’re doling out scarce resources there’s a strong argument for moving them to the front of the line. At the same time, some of these veterans are just plain fuckups.

So basically I guess it’s complicated.


From a non-metropolitan perspective, the issue seems to be centered around land use, basic social services and healthcare. All of this land was stolen, but the government only sells off small strips one at a time to develops in order to not depress values so that the ordinary person can go from rent paying to land owning. The lack of safety net plays a large part because probably a huge percentage of the ‘willfully’ homeless have a mental condition of some sort but no real avenues for treatment. Basic healthcare plays a part as a part time job has little obligations to you in the long term, the direct costs are devastating and this is all a very bad mix for someone experiencing any sort of chronic condition.

The metro question is a much tougher one, and its hard to imagine there is a better solution than deeply subsidized housing, ala Austria.

1 Like

This seems wrong to me.

i guess when you crunch the numbers it really isn’t too insane. there is the problem though of homeless people from other cities showing up. for example, if SF decided to find an apartment for every homeless person i image that would probably attract quite a few homeless from LA.

also, regular folk might not be too happy about having a potential drug user/mentally unstable individual as their new neighbor.

Plenty of non homeless people are mentally unstable and/or drug users. That probably describes over half of this forum.


Yes but we’re still economically viable mentally unstable drug users.


Speak for yourself

Scandi-style bus stops etc that convert to beds would be a start.

1 Like

? I haven’t heard of this and not seeing it on google. Which country? I found something in Norway at one bus stop, but nothing widespread.

The Scandinavian countries have something called freedom where people are allowed to be alive in public spaces (and sometimes private spaces they don’t own) without permission from the government.

1 Like

I think it’s more that it’s a problem that exists at the city level, where the politics tends to be incredibly reactionary, regardless of how “liberal” a city is. They certainly have the money to tackle the problem, and it may even save them money over the status quo, but there’s just zero political will.

The power landlords have is insane. I live in Florida. My rent is due on the 1st of each month. They give you a 4 day grace period to pay the rent. If you pay on the 5th or later, they add $100 to the rent for it being late. I think after 10 days you can get evicted. But if you switch jobs or get sick for a week or 2, it can be hard to pay on time.

On top of all that, rent has to be paid via direct deposit or you have to use Western Union. So lets say you work M-F 9:00-5:00. Payday is on Friday Jan 4th and you don’t have direct deposit. Either you have to leave work early on Friday so you can cash your check, go to Walmart and pay via WU or whatever. Or you wait til Saturday on your day off but you get docked $100. You lose money either way. It’s messed up.

It varies. I had a rental property a long long time ago and someone lived in one apartment for a year and a half without paying before I could get an eviction and the reason was just her financial hardship. Ok, fine. I’m not torn up that I paid for a mortgage on a property while I got no rent for a poor woman for a year and a half, but landlords don’t have infinite rights around here. Also she never had a lease. She never paid me a nickel, but paid someone I had hired to help with the property (not a manager, just keep an eye on things and clean up) . He took the money for the first month from her and for some other units and then disappeared.

Because the US would never kill white people so casually… unless they were Germans in WW2 I guess, but it’s been a long while.

Seriously there is a significant racism aspect to how comfortable people in the US/Europe are with civilian casualties. If 100 people get killed in a terrorist attack in France it’s national news for at least a few weeks here in the US. If 350 brown people get killed by the US in the Middle East it’s not even a news story.


He’s reflecting on the opposite basically. Because it’s brown people nobody cares lol… so no it wouldn’t make his point at all.

Actually come to think of it you might be right about the color mattering less… because I’m 80% sure nobody would care if it were Russians either.

People suck honestly.

Sure, some people are homeless because they are alcoholics, but many more alcoholics because they are homeless.


You can start by letting someone have a bed to sleep in even if they’re drunk.


Every homeless person is an individual, with their own story and many things will have contributed to where they are. They might even honestly prefer it to what else they’ve experienced, and trying to help any one of them probably involves getting to know them.

That said I live in France, but used to live in the UK and still travel back there often, and both places have obviously experienced a quiet explosion in homeless numbers over the last 5-10 years. Simultaneously both countries have systematically attacked their social provisions, trying to imply that any money provided by the state represents a failure and a moral lack on the part of the recipient.

Always vote for people that think of state aid for the vulnerable as the point of government. Yeah it’s a hard problem to eliminate, but it’s not hard to see we’re going backwards at the moment and to work out why.

Appreciate this may not help in a country where no politicians advocate meaningful social provision, but imagining you’ll address homelessness without it is insanity so I’ll not bother.