April 4, 2017

"Why would we accept that people should be living in huts that don’t have access to water, electricity and sanitation?... I always challenge the folks on the west coast about this."

“I say, ‘I don’t understand why you find it acceptable for children and infants to live like this.’ [And they say] 'We have to do something. This is better than doing nothing.'"

Said Barbara Poppe, who worked in the Obama administration on homelessness policy. She's an opponent of the "tiny house"/shantytown approach to dealing with homelessness.

28 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's the world as it would be wihtout men.

Everybody living in huts with no access to water or electricity or sanitation.

Think feminism.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

She told the city (Seattle) that they're already spending enough money, but it goes to wasteful, ineffective stuff that is perpetually funded w/o concern re results, and evermore unwise piecemeal plans get tacked on top of each other.

Anywho, just recently the mayor gave up on a plan to use property tax for another 55 million for homeless fixes. Now, he's planning to get dough from a county wide sales tax bump.

And, the city does seem to be getting rid of some of the tent people.

If nothing else, it's good that the city hired Poppe. Of course if they ignore what she told them it won't mean anything that she tried to help them/us.

jaydub said...

"She told the city (Seattle) that they're already spending enough money, but it goes to wasteful, ineffective stuff that is perpetually funded w/o concern re results, and evermore unwise piecemeal plans get tacked on top of each other."

In other words it's a government program.

tola'at sfarim said...

This can get a climate change tag also

Michael McClain said...

There's a Republican Administration in Washington, D.C. now, so the homeless crisis will be rediscovered by the DemCong and the CriminalLiberalNewsMedia.

Michael K said...

Single Room Occupancy hotels are all over the part of LA that is "skid row" but they crazies prefer to sleep on the street,

This is a mental health issue that is being treated as a housing issue.

The craziness is not all in City Hall but a lot of it is.

Bob Boyd said...

I predict at some point adequate housing will be prescribed by a doctor as the cure for what is ailing a homeless person and that person's activist/lawyer will want rent paid for by Medicaid or similar government program.
Would it work?
Maybe somebody already tried it and I just didn't hear about it.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

She could invite a few homeless families to share her home. But I bet she won't.

mockturtle said...

"‘You have to put homeless people somewhere".

This struck me as a fundamental leftist approach. Youput people somewhere. They are a demographic that must be dealt with rather than a collection of individuals with unique situations.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

60 to 80K per unit for what is essentially a garden shed without any windows... or a single car garage? Are you kidding me!!! Why so expensive? Oh nevermind. It is in the Blue States on the West Coast where everything is so expensive because of crushing government regulations.

You can buy a nice medium sized, fully equipped RV or Camp Trailer for less than that. Kitchen, shower, toilet, beds, eating area. Some even have flat screen tv, satellite connection and electric fireplaces. They are nice. Plus..... Moveable housing!!

Single Room Occupancy hotels are all over the part of LA that is "skid row" but they crazies prefer to sleep on the street,

This is a mental health issue that is being treated as a housing issue


I do have to agree with those who don't want to be "housed" in the homeless shelters. No privacy, no protections and surrounded by some very unsavory characters.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Here you go. Problem solved. Park model trailers for less than 40K. You can get lesser priced models as well. Very nice too.

RV's for sale

mockturtle said...

DBQ asks incredulously: 60 to 80K per unit for what is essentially a garden shed without any windows... or a single car garage? Are you kidding me!!! Why so expensive?

Any time a government is paying, the cost pretty much doubles. Or triples. Somebody got rich with this plan.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's evil to build a shantytown of tiny homes and pretend that you've done something for homelessness. Patting oneself on the back for building a settlement from The Grapes of Wrath--absurd!

I don't know about homeless people in other places, but our homeless people already have shantytowns. The pictures at the link are merely hipster-fied versions of the same thing.

Jane the Actuary said...

The fundamental issue seems to be that these "microhouses" are a bit of a bait-and-switch because everyone gets excited about them without realizing that they fundamentally are deficient as housing, and the only reason they appear cost-effective is because the plan is to use free city land. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/janetheactuary/2014/08/microhouse-bait-and-switch.html )

But it would make a lot more sense to use that "free land" for multifamily/SRO-type housing. I suppose that's not trendy enough, though.

Lewis Wetzel said...

She's an opponent of the "tiny house"/shantytown approach to dealing with homelessness.
They are not "tiny houses." They are foundationless houses, AKA trailers.

Gretchen said...

High rises are a better option because of the footprint of a tiny house and how to get into it. Who wants to live in someplace that cramped anyway? In my neck of the woods you can build a small 2 bedroom one bath 600' house for about 75K. While the bedrooms are small, no one has to climb into a sketchy loft to sleep. I'd imagine multiunit dwellings would be much cheaper.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

What do you do about homeless people who don't want to live in any of the places you might want to offer them?

What do you do about mentally ill homeless people who set their neighbor's trailer/tiny house/bed in a shelter/what have you on fire or decide their neighbor is actually Adolf Hitler needs to be stabbed through the eye?

My own personal preference would be to use some public money to build some stepping stones to get the functional but down on their luck homeless people back into jobs and stable living. Let's go back to involuntary confinement at large rural hospitals for the nonfunctional.

dreams said...

I suggest electing some competent Republicans.

mockturtle said...

As some of the 'tiny house' residents explained, they are at least able to lock things up and have a little privacy. Not a panacea but, if I were homeless, I'd be pretty happy to get one. We had a garden shed about that size and it had shelves and a window. It was cute and cozy.

On the other hand, maybe 'shantytowns' should be left to the residents to configure. I'm rather impressed by what some can do with a large cardboard box. But, in Seattle, it would get wet and soggy. Families with children probably need better options.

As a small child, my favorite books involved the "Boxcar Children". I was fascinated by their resourcefulness.

mockturtle said...

Slab City

William Chadwick said...

Big houses, tiny houses, no matter to me. As long as "liberals" use their own money.

Peter said...

"My own personal preference would be to use some public money to build some stepping stones to get the functional but down on their luck homeless people back into jobs and stable living."

The transitional programs that actually work tend to be those that make some demands of the recipients. For example, to stay in a Salvation Army shelter you'll be asked to help with the housework and possibly other tasks, and if you refuse they'll figure you don't need the housing all that badly. Further, if you get drunk/high or behave badly, you'll get thrown out. But a system of gradually increasing responsibility can put one on a path to rehabilitation where one that just provides a free housing benefit will fail.

And governments seem to have a hard time with this, finding it easier to accept everyone and just ignore bad/destructive behaviors and certainly not to make any actual demands on anyone. As a result government, shelters are often dangerous and inevitably are more inclined toward custodial care (if that) than toward rehabilitation.

"Let's go back to involuntary confinement at large rural hospitals for the nonfunctional."

But even if you could change the law to make involuntary commitments possible again (and get courts to honor it), who would pay for these institutions? For a century or so the states ran state mental hospital and, even though they offered little more than long-term warehousing of the mentally ill, they were still costly to maintain.

Which is why states were very pleased indeed when the federal government began to pay for mental health treatment via Medicaid, and with grants to community mental health clinics and other programs. If you want the states to support state hospitals again you'll have a tough political fight on your hands because the states shed these costs decades ago, and will not be eager to put them back into their state budgets.

Further, they'd probably cost a lot more to run now than they once did because courts are likely to insist that they actually provide a modicum of medical treatment to those involuntarily committed, and not just custodial/warehousing services.

wildswan said...

Why not let the state try out all kinds of experiments? Poor people aren't one kind of person living in one kind of climate who are poor for one reason. So there can't be one solution. For instance, tiny unheated houses in Wisconsin in the winter would be a death sentence and they might be quite dangerous in the summer in the hotter parts of the US whereas in Seattle's climate, where the problem in frequent rain, a roof might be a great advance. Are people homeless because tech people have priced them out of the housing market or because they're spiraling down into spending all their money on drugs or because a divorce has shattered their lives or because they can't stay on their meds or because there are no jobs in their hometown and they're looking for one in a new city or because their city flooded ...

mockturtle said...

Thank you, wildswan. My point, exactly. These are individuals, not some impersonal demographic mass to be herded around by the next available social experiment. In the Seattle area, rent is simply unaffordable. Some of these homeless people actually have jobs but are living in their cars and showering at truck stops and fitness clubs. Others have drug or alcohol issues. Still others have serious mental health problems. There needs to be some serious triage.



Freeman Hunt said...

If they have sanitation, that's one thing, but a bunch of tiny huts together without sanitation in them? That's asking for big trouble.

Kirk Parker said...

"a bunch of tiny huts together without sanitation in them? That's asking for big trouble."

Yeah, come to Juba and see for yourself...

Jonathan Graehl said...

how is this different from renting a room?
i hope this option is available to single people with jobs. seattle's getting to be a super expensive area.
the 80% solution to homelessness in expensive areas is to move the dead weight somewhere more affordable
but evidently they prefer the public amenities