Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

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Poor tired depressed hungry homeless man holding a cardboard h
Poor tired depressed hungry homeless man holding a cardboard house. with "help" handwritten text on cardboard. nostalgia and hope concept.

Discovery Institute Releases National Report on Homelessness

The problems linked to homelessness, including substance abuse, mental illness, and crime, are increasing in America despite untold sums of government money spent to address this complex problem. Read More ›
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In 1789 a charming five year old chimney sweep toiled through tough days in the bustling streets embodying the spirit of a spirited eighteenth century street urchin
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Caring for Orphans in New York City

Two columns ago I mentioned Charles Brace's concern about high rents in New York City. When Brace founded the New York Children's Aid Society in 1853, he began by setting up religious meetings aimed at orphaned or abandoned boys from 10 to 18 who slept in alleys. Read More ›
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Courts Are Dismissing Eviction Cases on the Grounds of “Confusion”

A couple living in Kent, a city south of Seattle, was issued an eviction notice in May 2023 and then granted a continuance in court – a delay in eviction proceedings – five times over the last eleven months. Then last month, a King County Superior Court judge dismissed the case. The landlord has lost more than $23,000 in unpaid rent, a cost that continues to grow by $2,100 every month. Why was the case dismissed eleven months after the eviction notice was served? According to the judge, the notice was “confusing.” To understand the source of confusion, we have to go back to spring 2020, when the federal government passed the CARES Act. Alongside other measures to provide economic Read More ›

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A pioneer family on the frontier, amidst a vast prairie, setting up their homestead, gazes towards a hopeful horizon.
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Go West, Young Man (and Woman)

We often think westward migration was for males only. In 1862 the Homestead Act allowed land claims from “any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years.” Women, including those widowed by the Civil War, made one third of all homestead claims. Some men and women who made it to the Midwest and went no further became homeless. Read More ›
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Documentary Hopes to Inspire Nation to Address Homelessness Crisis

Last night, a VIP Exclusive screening of the documentary "Americans With No Address" was held in Bellevue, Washington. The documentary stars Billy Baldwin, and features Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Robert Marbut who also served as Executive Producer. Read More ›
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Manhattan Midtown Skyline with illuminated skyscrapers at sunset. NYC, USA
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Helping the Manhattan Poor: A History

Much of what we hear in national media concerning homelessness originates in the salons of Manhattan, and if we want to understand why our policy savants sometimes go far off course, we should understand the history of New York City’s successes and failures. Read More ›
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Contemplative Silhouette Sitting On Rock In Nature
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The Ups and Downs of Recovery at The Forge

The past two months I've written about those making progress at Forge, the Christian shelter I lived at in Joplin, Missouri. But not everyone perseveres. I played disc golf on a sunny day last October with one Forge resident who told me how he had become a devotee of YouTube Satanist channels. For a time, he combined demonic rituals, drug use, and increasingly elaborate drawings of skulls and skeletons. Read More ›
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Cops Clearing Out A Homeless Encampment
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The Dirty Little Secret About Homelessness Is the Key to Ending It

The US Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments about what cities can and cannot do to end homelessness. What everyone agreed on was that homelessness is a difficult problem. I think most people listening to the Supreme Court would agree: it isn’t going to solve homelessness. That is a job for state legislators. So why haven’t they? Why has homelessness gotten worse? Read More ›
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Colonial Village: The Heartbeat of Early America.
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Homelessness in Colonial New England

Since starting this weekly column in June 2022 I’ve covered lots of topics, including homelessness in late medieval England — but I’ve shorted American history. Since today, April 19, is the anniversary of the battles in Lexington and Concord that started the Revolutionary War in 1775, it’s a good day on which to take a rapid ride through the New England countryside and summarize common responses to homelessness in the 17th and 18th centuries. Read More ›
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Supreme Court of the United States
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SCOTUS Will Hear Arguments in Controversial Homelessness Case that Will Impact Cities Nationwide

As homelessness hits all-time highs across the country, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments next Monday about whether the enforcement of generally applicable laws regulating camping on public property are constitutional. The case will determine how cities nationwide are allowed to respond to the crisis of homelessness. Read More ›
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The Four Phases of Recovery at Forge Center

Last year I wrote about how formerly-homeless residents of the Orange County Rescue Mission in California could progress through an 18-month program in four phases that give them the readiness to live on their own. Through hard experience the Forge Center in Joplin, Missouri has also come up with four phases, with completion possible in 16 months. Read More ›