Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Does it matter if homeless are "from" the city?

SF Chronicle

From the SF Chronicle last week:

As San Franciscans wait for the complete results of January’s homeless count, Tipping Point has new data from its own survey of homeless people. While the city’s homeless count looks at demographics and the reasons behind homelessness, Tipping Point wanted to do a deeper dive. Last summer, it hired researchers to survey 300 homeless people, asking questions about the challenges they face on the streets and what it would take to get them inside.

Half said they’d lived in the city for at least 10 years, and 21% said they’d lived in the city their whole life. While less than 6% of the city’s population is black, 36% of the homeless people surveyed are black. More than half of respondents said the city should make housing more affordable, build more housing for homeless people, and provide more mental health and substance abuse services.

Rob's comment:
Okay, I understand that the bobbleheads in City Hall and Tipping Point don't read my blog, but they should consider my analysis of a similar poll back in 2015: District 5, Sit-Lie, and the homeless.

As I pointed out, why should we trust the homeless themselves about where they are from? Surely they saw the people doing the survey for Tipping Point as representing City Hall, even though it's not a city agency.

The Tipping Point survey, by the way, isn't even as good as the 2015 survey, which polled 1,027 of the 7,539 homeless people counted that year. Tipping Point only polled 300 of more than 8,000 homeless counted this year! Not exactly a "deeper dive."

Of course many of the homeless are going to claim they're from San Francisco, since they would assume that falsehood---which of course Tipping Point has no way of verifying---might legitimize their claim for public assistance from the city. No reputable poll taker would assume that public policy should be based on that kind of response from the homeless themselves.

Besides, it doesn't really matter where or when those people became homeless; the city still has to deal with them one way or another, since they are now homeless on our streets. 

The homeless will have to be honest when contacted by the city's Homeward Bound staff, since locating a friend, relative, or a contact is required before they get a bus ticket from the city back to wherever they actually came from.

What those bogus survey results do is support the myth that the homeless are simply long-time city residents that have fallen on hard times, mainly because of the lack of affordable housing in San Francisco. 

Maybe City Hall thinks supporting that myth is a political necessity, that city residents will only support spending all that money dealing with homelessness if they think they're helping out city residents who have simply fallen on hard times. Surely that would be a false assumption about public opinion, since the annual Chamber of Commerce poll says otherwise.

The reality is that homelessness is a national problem that requires a national response, which is unlikely to come from the Trump administration and the contemptible Republican Party.

Daniel Lurie is talking to the Chronicle as if this is a San Francisco problem that can be dealt with on the local level, which is simply untrue. [Later: but 75% people in the city think it's getting worse here. See page 7 of the Controller's report]

Lurie also suggests support for the dubious notion that the solution to homelessness requires San Francisco to dramatically increase the number of "affordable" housing units---that should always be in quotes---by dramatically increasing housing construction in the city with buildings like this

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also the most important information would be to know what percent of total are actively using (addicted) to drugs and drink. Need to distinguish the true homeless who need our help from those street people into street drugs who are so addicted it is their lifestyle. While plenty of resources exist to get "clean" what statistics exist about street people wanting to change and have?

If street people do not want to change and do not respect our neighborhoods then why in the hell do we continue to enable them? Time for them to avail themselves of the many detox and rehab centers to change their lives. They will never be allowed into any formal housing until they do.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

We need to deal with all the homeless, whether they have a drug problem or not. But anyone who shoots up in public should be arrested and dealt with in jail, since the city jail apparently has a sensible drug problem.


Post a Comment

<< Home