Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

Blog | Page 8

man-falling-down-from-a-hole-of-light-surreal-concept-stockpack-adobe-stock
man falling down from a hole of light, surreal concept
man falling down from a hole of light, surreal concept

The Lowest Depths

Back to California. Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths, first staged in 1902, focuses on run-down people living in a flophouse: Vaska the thief, Nastya the prostitute, Luka the tramp, and Kvashnya the meat-pie seller, along with a downwardly-mobile baron, a suicidal actor, and others equally miserable. But in the play, at least temporarily, they are alive and conscious. If fentanyl had hit Russia then, even famed Moscow Arts Theater director Konstantin Stanislavski would have been stymied in creating some dramatic action: Users of the synthetic opioid are often inactive, with stiff limbs. Gorky portrayed lower depths, but fentanyl drops users in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district into the lowest depths, close to death. I’ve walked many crime-ridden areas by day, but Read More ›

san-franciscos-iconic-bridge-wrapped-in-fog-as-seen-at-night-generative-ai-stockpack-adobe-stock
San Francisco's iconic bridge wrapped in fog as seen at night. Generative AI
San Francisco's iconic bridge wrapped in fog as seen at night. Generative AI

Doom Loop City

It should come as no surprise that an enterprising San Franciscan came up with the idea to host a “doom loop” tour of the moldering city on a hill. The plot twist is that Alex Ludlum, who put together the tour, canceled and refunded tickets for his “Downtown Doom Loop Walking Tour” before its intended Aug. 26 debut. That would be the weekend Nordstrom shuttered its flagship store in downtown San Francisco. It turns out, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Ludlum serves on Ess Eff’s Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure. He had planned on giving the tour as an “anonymous insider.” After his identity was outed, Ludlum apologized for a “deep error in judgment” and canceled the tour. “How Read More ›

homeless-man-sitting-on-the-street-generative-ai-stockpack-adobe-stock
Homeless man sitting on the street, generative ai
Homeless man sitting on the street, generative ai

In the WSJ: A Christian Approach to Treating Fentanyl Addiction

A California rescue mission rehabilitates people through love of God and fellowship. I spent four days and nights last month at the Orange County Rescue Mission, a Christian outfit serving the local homeless. I left with stories from 40 men and women about years of cycling through drug deals, arrests, jail, probation, parole violations, homelessness and prison. Andrew, 36, dropped out of high school and once had a job, but studying and working shifts at Jiffy Lube was boring. Meth was exciting. He enjoyed planning robberies and didn’t mind a few months every couple of years in jail: “Better drugs there than on the street.” He married and had children but wasn’t sober at their births. He came to the Read More ›

severely-damaged-buildings-and-car-after-tornado-touched-down-on-march-22-2022-in-arabi-la-usa-stockpack-adobe-stock
Severely Damaged Buildings and Car after Tornado Touched Down on March 22, 2022 in Arabi, LA, USA
Severely Damaged Buildings and Car after Tornado Touched Down on March 22, 2022 in Arabi, LA, USA

What Happens With Homelessness When FEMA Doesn’t Come?

This is the second in a series. Read the first column here. Our tendency when we hear of a disaster is to ask when FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — will arrive. But because of some curious federal rules, Perryton Mayor Kerry Symons said his community will receive nothing. That’s because the threshold for FEMA help depends on meeting requirements that vary by state population. Damage that would be large enough to warrant help in Rhode Island doesn’t cut it in Texas. The logic is that a large state can bring to bear more resources than a small one. That bureaucratic rule hurts Perryton residents like Maria Marufo, who depended on income from renting out six mobile homes Read More ›

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 1.16.46 PM

King County spends $65M to move 300 homeless people out of freeway camps

By Spencer Pauley – The Center Square (The Center Square) – One year and more than $65 million into Washington state’s Right of Way Safety Initiative, nearly 300 homeless people have been moved off state highway rights of way in King County.  The Right of Way Safety Initiative closes encampments in areas around highways by providing shelter or housing to the estimated thousands of people living there. The King County Regional Homelessness Authority first began operations under the initiative in June 2022, with the majority of state funding being sent to the organization that fall. As of July 1, 327 homeless individuals were engaged by KCRHA at some 10 encampments, with 292 of those people moved inside. Nineteen went directly to permanent Read More ›

noaa-Zus94oboIsM-unsplash

Homeless by Tornado

Perryton, a Texas panhandle city of 8,000, sits 17 miles south of the Oklahoma state line. Until June 15 it had almost zero homelessness, because two of the major causes of homelessness — overwhelming addiction and high housing prices — were not present. On June 15 a tornado wiped out 418 homes, more than ten percent of Perryton’s housing stock — and it still had no visible homelessness, as measured by people sleeping on the streets or in shelters. (There isn’t one in Perryton.) How can that be? I’ve just visited Perryton, so I’ll take a time-out from my California series to report on what happened and what hasn’t happened. I’ll come back to San Francisco and Orange County in Read More ›

Screenshot-2023-08-09-at-11.03.11-AM

The Post Millennial: Latest blunder of Seattle area homeless agency showcases failure of Biden-endorsed ‘housing first’ model

Only 16 people have been housed in units with only 11 landlords participating in the program since the program’s launch in 2022 which had a goal of 800 units. A Seattle area program that offers funds to landlords to incentivize them to rent vacant units to the homeless has hit a snag, as there are more units available than eligible homeless people. Because of this, landlords are being turned away from the program. The agency, however, continues to say that they need more units. The King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA) in Washington State has confirmed that landlords in Seattle are being turned away from a program aimed at incentivizing them to take in homeless tenants. Advocates for those living on the streets Read More ›

multiple-exposure-of-people-in-overcrowded-city-resembling-a-zombie-apocalypse-stockpack-adobe-stock
multiple exposure of people in overcrowded city resembling a zombie apocalypse
multiple exposure of people in overcrowded city resembling a zombie apocalypse

Heartless in San Francisco

This column is the second in a series. To read part one, click here. I’ll come back to the sights and sounds of the Orange County Rescue Mission, but after four days there I flew to San Francisco and walked around that city. The old song notwithstanding, few Americans these days leave their hearts there. Tourists still visit Fisherman’s Wharf and ride the cable cars, but books with titles like San Fransicko hit hard, and videos of addicts in SF’s Tenderloin neighborhood are stomach-churning. What’s happening in San Francisco is both better and worse than those dramatic presentations. The Noe Valley neighborhood, for instance, features Victorian houses, small markets, and cafes. Nearby Bernal Heights (sometimes referred to as “maternal heights”) Read More ›