Thursday, October 29, 2009

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 Beyond Chron 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.

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At 5:49 PM, Blogger missiondweller said...

The silence of progressives on this issue says it all. I will never forget how the public had to fight them kicking and screaming to get any reform from "progressives".

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Before Care Not Cash was passed by city voters in 2002, the prog line was that the homeless were just poor people who couldn't pay the rent. Food Not Bombs and the Biotic Baking Brigade (the pie throwers) were the primary prog response to homelessness, even though conditions on the streets and in the parks were clearly getting worse. And then Newsom got himself elected mayor primarily on the homeless issue, and city progs have been seething with resentment ever since.

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Progs and Hipsters all like to rant about 'yuppies' who "aren't part of the 'real' San Francisco" all come here from somewhere else to work. However, when someone comes here to live off the city's welfare system, the same voices argue that the unfortunates 'deserve' it because of what 'society' has done 'to' them. Reducing the strain on the city's welfare system is a great idea.


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