Thursday, January 04, 2018

Good intentions and unintended consequences

People with good intentions aren't necessarily making the homeless problem better. In fact they may be making it worse by in effect enabling the homeless to remain homeless.

That's one of the primary reasons for passing Gavin Newsom's Care Not Cash by city voters in 2002. Before that the city was giving the homeless $300 a month in cash. After Care Not Cash went into effect, 1,000 people dropped off the list of those receiving the payments. Turns out they just wanted cash, not care. The cash wasn't spent on housing but for drugs and alcohol.

Of course the city's leftist leaders immediately claimed that Care Not Cash was an "attack" on the homeless, who were simply poor people who couldn't pay the rent in pricey San Francisco, a half-truth at best. Anybody with eyes could see that many of the most visible homeless had mental health and alcohol/drug issues.

I posted about the good intentions issue two years ago: "Helping" the homeless---to remain homeless?

Not surprising to learn that other counties in the state are struggling with the same issue, like Orange County: As West Coast Fights Homelessness, Kindness Is Contentious.

People with good intentions are now giving the homeless tents, which is one reason we now have tent cities in San Francisco.

But the point is to get the homeless off our streets, not to make it more comfortable for them to be homeless.

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