Homelessness: No longer a big issue in SF
Return with me now to days of yore---to April 13, 2004, to be exact---to revisit the burning issues of that distant day. On that day BeyondChron published a short article by Margaret Brodkin based on a January, 2004, poll by David Binder. Those polled were asked a simple question: "What is the most important public policy issue facing San Francisco today?" 61% responded that homelessness was the most important issue facing the city, with the schools coming in a distant second with 21%.
Hard to believe that homelessness as an issue would rank that high with city residents today because of a reality that city progressives refuse to accept: Mayor Newsom's homeless policies---Care Not Cash, Homeward Bound, Project Homeless Connect, supportive housing, etc.---have been successful enough to take homelessness off the front page.
Take prog reaction---in today's Examiner---to the obvious success of my favorite homeless program, Homeward Bound, which gives the homeless a bus ticket back to wherever they came from:
More than 4,000 of the previously homeless people in San Francisco were returned to their home cities with a bus ticket funded through The City’s Homeward Bound Program, according to the Mayor’s Office. According to the program’s outreach information, Homeward Bound applicants must have a place to reside at the destination city where there’s “ample support.” Program staff contact family or friends at the destination before the homeless person is given a ticket, and they follow up with the participant one month later to check on their well-being. However, Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the San Francisco-based Coalition on Homelessness, was skeptical of the mayor’s assertions. “You can’t claim you housed people by giving them a bus ticket,” she said.
Obviously the city isn't claiming that it has "housed" those 4,000 people, but it can proudly say that it got them humanely off the streets of our city, which has to be judged as a hugely successful program by anyone with common sense.