Friday, July 17, 2009


About half my caseload over the course of a year is homeless or has some severe housing crisis during their admission. But building more inexpensive housing is almost never a solution to their problem. Today's examples - the woman who brought in wild animals to raise and care for; the guy who was renting a room and threatened suicide, requiring four police cars to apprehend him; the guy who thought the squirrel in his apartment was live, even though he'd cut the tail off weeks ago and enclosed the whole thing in wax (he was thinking of making a hat); the kid who beat up his father.

Government programs pick off the low-hanging fruit. I think Section 8 is basically a good idea. It is hard for some people to make ends meet with housing prices as they are. But whenever the government is quoting you homeless statistics and how they're going to fix it, remember that a lot of the solvable problems have already been solved. A hundred inexpensive housing units in each of those four neighborhoods, even if they were available tomorrow, would not solve the housing problems above.

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