Taxpayer’s Revolt: End Homelessness

Posted on September 18, 2008

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I’m really tired of it.

I think we have to raise our voices.

I think we’re going to have to tell our governments to stop their wasteful spending on homelessness.

I mean, I know the homeless are fun.  Messy and inconvenient sometimes, yes, but who else is so easy to feel superior to.  And you don’t even have to care about them if you don’t want to, ‘cause they’re all drug addicts and too lazy to work anyway, right?  I mean lazy crackheads living on the street and getting what they deserve – you have to admit that’s fun.

All well and good, but everybody knows the economy is going to be tight, that we all will have to cinch our belts.  And governments are going to have to show a little restraint as well, trim back unnecessary spending, remove the frills.  That means that we’ll have to stop spending money on wasteful and unnecessary hobbies like poor-bashing – you know, the kind of poor-bashing that results in low welfare rates, low welfare eligibility and the absence of social housing.

I mean, I don’t say there’s anything wrong with poor-bashing, per se.  I ask you, who better to bash?  And you gotta like that welfare is to so hard to get that people are left with no recourse than to set up house-keeping in the alley, that is, so long as it’s not my alley.

And low welfare rates — finally they have the rates so low that people can’t afford to pay the rent, which is only as low as it should be to encourage those bums to get a job.  Still, then you wind up with people outdoors again.  And, as much as they deserve to be outdoors – everybody agrees with that – we simply can’t tolerate the expense in today’s difficult financial climate.

The trouble is that the homeless cost so much money.  We can’t afford to keep them around.  Just take homeless shelters, for instance.  They’re 50 – 60 – 70 dollars a night per bed.  People sleep in a dorm.  There’s no privacy.  No more than those guys deserve, if you ask me.  But at $1500 to $2000 a month for each bed, we can no longer afford what these people deserve.  Better to just cut costs, give them a $125 raise in their shelter allowance, bringing it to up to $500, and let them find their own places to stay.  Five hundred dollars a month is less than $1500 to $2000 a month, and that’s less money coming directly out of the taxpayers’ pockets.

We’ll have to demand cheaper fun from our government.

And that isn’t even all of it, believe me.  Homeless people are always getting sick.  You know if they got a job and stopped doing drugs they wouldn’t have these problems.  So they deserve to live outside.  But then they get sick a lot, and wind up in the hospital, and that costs taxpayers money.

It just gets my goat, when I think about it, the way the government thinks it can waste my hard earned money keeping people homeless.  I mean, everybody likes gloating over the hard fate of the undeserving, but sometimes you have to pay attention to the bottom line.  These are difficult times, like I said.

Oh, and then there’s the policing costs, and the social services costs, and the costs of prisons and the whole court system.  It’s obvious enough for even a politician to figure out that keeping people homeless is just too expensive all around.  We pay money to lawyers and social workers, of all people, and jails are so expensive these days, and what do the taxpayers get out of it really?  Talk about a government boondoggle.

We need a taxpayers’ revolt.

Enough is enough.

House the homeless, dammit!

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The Relationship between Homelessness and the Health, Social Services and Criminal Justice Systems:  A Review of the Literature, February 2001.    (Prepared for the government of British Columbia)

“The literature demonstrates that there is a strong relationship between homelessness and the health care, social services and criminal justice systems.  People who do not have safe, secure, affordable shelter have more health problems than the general population, experience social problems that may be exacerbated by their lack of shelter, and are more likely to become involved in criminal activity than the general public.  This tends to result in greater use of some services by the homeless, particularly hospital emergency services, shelters and correctional institutions, in terms of frequency and length of use.  Some specific sub-groups of the homeless, such as those with mental illness, are even more likely to be involved with the health care, social services and criminal justice systems.” [1]

“Research confirms … that preventative measures are more cost-effective than the status quo.  Issues arising from homelessness are more costly to deal with after the fact than if homelessness were prevented in the first place.” [1]

The above-cited report may be found in the following place:

http://www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca/pdfs/researchassociates/4_vol_report/Vol1.pdf

And see Poverty status quo costs twice as much as ending it: CCPA – The Tyee

Posted in: politics