Fah-real?

Posted: July 17, 2008 in Politics

This is why the “war against homelesness” is nothing more than a popular shadow boxing match.

Most homeless have city-funded home
C.W. Nevius
sfgate.com

A long overdue civil grand jury report released Wednesday says that the city should be proud of getting over 4,000 homeless people into housing since 2004 but distressed at the scene on the streets.

Panhandling, public drunkenness and street loitering are still an unpleasant reality downtown.

The mayor and others are now admitting what the grand jury reported – that a majority of those on the streets are not homeless. The head of the city’s homeless program, Dariush Kayhan, estimates that 50 to 75 percent of street people live in supportive housing.

“We just warehouse addicts,” said the grand jury’s Stuart Smith. “Granted, it is a nicer place for them, but it doesn’t address the problem.”

In short, the jury is reflecting the views of many San Franciscans who made the choice to live here. They understood that housing and taxes would be higher, and so would the cost of a meal in a restaurant. They understand and believe that the city needs to provide for its poorest homeless residents and don’t begrudge what the grand jury says is $186 million a year in city funds spent to finance homeless programs.

But, they ask, can’t someone stop the panhandling? And, given all the programs and services, is it unreasonable to ask those who are being given supportive housing to start making some effort to be self-sufficient? (more…)

The simple fact that the mayor is now admitting this is a problem suggests that they knew this for a long time. They just didn’t have the political will to do something about it.

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