Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

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first place house
Hand holding house model on first place of winner podium on greenery blurred background
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Limits of “Housing First”

Homelessness is complicated. Housing costs are a problem in some big coastal cities and a few others. Local governments should reduce burdensome regulations and building fees to encourage affordable housing construction. But addiction and mental illness are larger problems for many who are “sleeping rough.” Read More ›
West Hollywood Homelessness Wild Tents Camp
West Hollywood Homelessness Wild Tents Camp

‘Housing First’ Caused the Homelessness Catastrophe

Homelessness is a national disgrace. Large swaths of some of America’s (once) most beautiful cities are squalid squatter camps. Visit San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, or Los Angeles and you will see miles of homeless people living on the streets in tents—many openly drug-addled and soiling sidewalks with used needles and human waste. Read More ›
tiny homes collection
set of tiny wooden toy houses.
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Stephanie Creighton

“Tiny home” villages are going up around the United States. They’re touted as solutions for homeless men and women, but a Sept. 17 Los Angeles Times article had this headline about two California villages: “The report card is mixed.” Read More ›
Man depressed with wine bottle sitting on bench outdoor
Man depressed with wine bottle sitting on bench outdoor

The Life of One Homeless Man

Barry Meyer slept for a month and a half in a port-a-potty near the Lynchburg public library: “It was a big one, I could do a twisting stretch-out with the toilet seat and my stuff.” He said it didn’t smell bad because “they cleaned it twice a week.” Of course, his sense of smell, maybe his sense of everything, was off because each day he typically consumed eight “tall boys” (25-ounce beers) and a pint of whiskey. He favored Earthquake High Gravity Lager with its aroma of corn syrup and wet hay. Its fans say Earthquake “will get you buzzin’ like a chainsaw… It’s like putting your finger between the sprocket and chain on a motorcycle and then having your Read More ›

union station dc
Sunny view of some homeless tent in front of the Union Station
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Uncle Sam Enabling Homelessness, Not Ending It

How Congress Can Reform Government’s Misguided Homelessness Policies report exposes the futility of current federal “Housing First” policies, now embraced by President Joe Biden’s administration. Read More ›
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 ›
Street signs for Rue D' Orleans and Rue Bourbon in New Orleans, Louisiana
Street signs for Rue D' Orleans and Rue Bourbon in New Orleans, Louisiana

Sunday Morning, New Orleans

Johnny Cash sang, “On the Sunday morning sidewalks/ Wishing, Lord, that I was stoned/Cause there’s something in a Sunday/ That makes a body feel alone.” I saw on a recent Saturday and Sunday morning that sleeping under a New Orleans expressway might really make a body feel alone. Periodically during the past decade the homeless humans in this verdant city coalesced into a big tent city, an anarchic community of sorts—and police swept it away. Times-Picayune, 2012: “About 55 people who had been staying under the Pontchartrain Expressway were told they must leave the area and move into shelters.” Two years later, the New Orleans City Council gave police the right to remove tents, furniture, and other items “that obstruct Read More ›

closed envelope
Businessman giving bribe money in the envelope to partner
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Homelessness: A Profitable Business

James A. Brown III has turned sheltering the homeless into a lucrative business for himself, reaping more than $1 million a year in profits. By starting and managing his own security guard company, catering company, and management company — all of which service his shelters. Read More ›
Christian group of people holding hands praying worship to believe and Bible on a wooden table for devotional or prayer meeting concept.
Christian group of people holding hands praying worship to believe and Bible on a wooden table for devotional or prayer meeting concept.

Complicated Lives and Christian Hope

Last week we concluded one look at homelessness in Jackson, Tennessee, with the story of Tracey King, 50, and her back-and-forth relationships. First she married, had a daughter, and divorced. Next she married a police officer and gave birth to twin boys. She divorced the police officer and then remarried him. King said he began taking drugs so they divorced again and she “lost everything.” When drinking and smoking pot no longer numbed her emotional pain, she snorted fentanyl. Stints at seven different drug treatment centers — in Nashville, Savannah, and elsewhere — failed to bring healing. In February 2022, she moved in with her mother, who also battled addiction, King said. Two months later, her mother kicked her out. Read More ›

Jackson in an Urban Center in Rural Tennessee
Jackson in an Urban Center in Rural Tennessee

Relief and dreams in Jackson, Tennessee

As Stephanie Woodley, 42, sat last month in the dayroom of Area Relief Ministries (ARM) in Jackson, Tenn., she said the stabbing of her ex-husband was no big deal. “The gash is only this big,” she said as she extended her right thumb and index finger to demonstrate a one-incher.  Woodley said her ex-husband tried to push their daughter, Maddie, down the stairs, so Maddie stabbed him. Maddie moved in with her aunt in Memphis, and Woodley was sleeping on the streets in Jackson, 88 miles away. Woodley’s dark almond eyes teared up: “I miss my daughter.”  Woodley showed the homescreen on her phone: a picture of Maddie standing next to a pink agapanthus flower. She said Maddie has offered Read More ›