Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

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Michael Shellenberger: What Happened to Progressives?

Why are they letting crime run rampant in cities? Why don’t they mandate treatment to the people living and dying on the streets? Watch Michael Shellenberger speak on the ideology behind progressive cities allowing their citizens to live and die on the streets. Shellenberger created the North America Recovers Coalition that Discovery Institute is proud to be a founding member of. Watch the speech here. Read some highlights here: My own journey on this issue began after writing Apocalypse Never. I was getting ready to go on book tour, and save nuclear plants around the world, and then covid hit. It was very disorienting, as all of you can remember  I found myself feeling sad about it. I’ve been teaching myself Read More ›


The Humanitarian Crisis Right Before Your Eyes

How could 6,000 shelter beds be unoccupied in Los Angeles County? It’s a number, reported in LAist in July, that makes no sense given the miles of homeless encampments that occupy area streets and sidewalks. Looking for an answer, I talked to Dave — a formerly homeless man who asked me not to reveal his last name. Dave told me how he ended up unhoused in the 1990s and then worked his way into a good job and a steady roof over this head. He believes that homeless individuals who live on the street choose to do so, because when he didn’t have a roof, he chose to spend the night in missions with rules, not on streets without them. Read More ›


Eight days in the Golden State. First in a Series.

I’m used to hopeless stories about the growth of homelessness, particularly in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Last December LA Mayor Karen Bass declared her city to be in a “state of emergency” that demanded “a sea change in how the city tackles homelessness.” Fine, but six months later, on June 29, a Los Angeles Times headline blared about the change Angelenos has seen: “Homelessness grows 10 percent in the city.” Two weeks ago I headed to California to see for myself. I had already walked LA’s Skid Row, where 11,000 homeless people crowd into 2/5 of a square mile and create what locals call “a man-made Hell.” Didn’t need another look at that, and the hope of seeing a Read More ›


Enticing People to Change

If we define “home” as a solid dwelling fixed to a particular spot, many Native Americans were voluntarily homeless, as hunters and gatherers are. They would follow their food supply, which was on the move. How could they be convinced to change? European Americans wanted to convince Native Americans that a settled life was better. Their position was Housing, Food, and Clothing first. Their belief: If Native Americans saw they could be warm and well-fed in cold weather rather than freezing and hungry, they would voluntarily settle down. If they became accustomed to products of civilization like fine clothing and (some craftily said) alcohol, they would want to settle down. That worked for some but not for others. Native culture Read More ›


Mixed Messages on Homelessness

Pundits who write about homelessness should recognize that America in this decade does not have 20-20 vision on the subject. My column last week analyzed a celebrated short story in which a homeless Native American and his friends haven’t changed at all, but the city of Seattle celebrates. If you’ve been watching Jonathan Choe’s videos on this Fix Homelessness website, Seattle’s homelessness crisis is not something to cheer. But in a New Yorker short story, the Noble Savage and his alcoholic crew can live happily ever after.  Some writers cheer on homelessness, seeing it as a way to live off the land, hunting for sustenance. There are parallels between the way European Americans dealt with Native Americans two centuries ago Read More ›

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Jonathan Choe on Newsmax: Pool at Homeless Encampment Causes Controversy

Jonathan Choe joins reporters on Newsmax to discuss the illegal takeover of Washington state property in Seattle where homeless occupants are felling trees, building driveways, and setting up pools. Watch the full clip here:

Old Mental Hospital Sign
Old Mental Hospital Sign

The Story of Mental Illness in One Graph

Discovery fellow Robert Marbut provides this telling graph on the correlation of falling support for psychiatric beds and the rise of the mentally ill population in prison. Deinstitutionalization since the ‘60’s went overboard and helped create the current crisis.  Read More ›
pawn shop sign
Neon Pawn Shop Sign
Photo licensed via Adobe Stock

Homeless in Seattle — in fiction

In 1993 Native American writer Sherman Joseph Alexie Jr. published a short story collection titled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. In 2003 he publisherd in The New Yorker an Alexie short story, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” that was one of the top three stories of the year, according to the prestigious O.Henry Awards. It has been anthologized and assigned to thousands of high school students. Although all the action is within one small area of Seattle, it’s a culturally important meld of the Noble Savage and Happy Hobo traditions I wrote about last week.   The story begins, “One day you have a home and the next you don’t,” and then quickly identifies the narrator/hero Read More ›


Leftist Media Distort New Homelessness Study To Support Failed ‘Housing First’ Policies

Advocates of “Housing First” as the solution for homelessness are praising a new study that supposedly proves their case. The trouble is, the study — conducted by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) — proves no such thing. Read More ›