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Homeless

I think that it is universally understood that the homeless in the United States are largely drug addicted, alcohol addicted, diagnosed and undiagnosed with mental problems, and most have some sort of criminal record.

I attend a downtown church that is close to a Salvation Army facility.  The crime and other problems a shelter brings is a nightmare.  We are about to make a huge investment in the area with the construction of a new sanctuary and from a public policy perspective, in my view, it appears that the homeless problem will get worse.

I would like to see the sick, chemically dependent, and mentally ill get full courses of specialized inpatient treatment.  I would like to see street people have gifted to them by the community two all you can eat meals of boiled rice and chicken each day.  I would like every street person to have a safe place to shower and sleep.  I want all criminal street people removed from my area either by  incarceration   or relocation of those that no longer have warrants outstanding...I hear Utah is nice.

I think we need a reasonable reaction to the homeless street people.  I believe we should treat them justly and reintegrate those that can back into productive society.  Warehousing and food programs without treatment is pointless... and dangerous.

Where is this safety net that used to justify, in my opinion, our confiscatory taxes?  Where  are the communities that have converted the homeless back into the general citizenry?

Is there an answer to the misery and human suffering of homelessness?
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I think that part of our problem with any drug addicted population is the complete focus on criminalization with no money for treatment. While drugs are a voluntary choice, mental illness (and the resultant self medication) is not. If people had more ability to TRY treatment, I think we would have fewer in this problem population. Unfortunately, so much money goes towards incarceration on drug charges or other related non-violent crimes that it becomes impossible to provide appropriate services. I think that the punishment for those who refuse should be tough, but that more options should exist. Data shows that treatment helps and reduces crimes - also investment in neighborhoods, like you said, that raises pride value and encourages people to want to take care of their own.

.02.