Homelessness: it’s an issue that plagues all large cities and serves as both a reminder of those less fortunate as well as a failure in our modern society. The question is what to do about it.

Let’s make one thing clear: homelessness is not caused by one single, simple problem. Poverty alone is not the reason that you see so many roaming the streets. There are three subsets that most refuse to admit to: the mentally ill, the drug abuser, and the bum.

The mentally ill have swelled the homeless population since the closings of state run hospitals in the eighties. With programs for those unable to function slashed, these flawed souls are left to struggle. Schizophrenia, PTSD, and worse make it impossible for them to hold a job, deal with social situations, or flourish in uncontrolled environments. Shame drives many to the streets, others because society doesn’t no, or sometimes doesn’t want to deal with them. Such living only exacerbates their problems making it that much harder.

The drug problem isn’t a new one, though the explosion of drug use that has taken place since the seventies has created an epidemic that has gutted entire communities and destroyed tens of thousands if not millions of lives. Addicts find sell their lives for that next fix sacrificing career, family, and pride for an escape from whatever demons drove them to drugs. And they just keep chasing that escape as it gradually slips further and further from their grasp. So they end up in the streets hustling, stealing, even pawning themselves for anything; drugs strip them down until there is only the slimmest piece of humanity left.

And then there is the bum. Though society today finds it unkind to categorize anyone under that title anymore, they still exist. People who don’t want to work, who feel entitled to be taken care of, who put their entertainment and vices before work, family, or friends. These are eternal immatures, the lazy dreamers, the blamers of society for not rewarding their mediocrity. These are those who prefer slums to work, who enjoy the freedom of no responsibility despite how wretchedly pathetic it is. These are those who are the personification of a parasite; whose parents failed to instill in them that needed self-respect that comes with being a human being. These are the cretins who hound people for money to the point, at times, of reaching into strangers’ pockets and, should that fail, assault others. The even more wretched are animals who rape, rob, and show no respect for society. Hey, they need love too.

These three categories challenge the simple answer that poverty was forced upon them. Bad times are not the only reason people end up on the streets which then challenges the borderline moronic solutions that have been offered. EBT: that will serve a drug addict well and drive a bum to work. Shelters and soup kitchens: just give those who can’t take care of themselves what they need so they have reason to linger and grow in both burden and bother. The most moronic: housing.

Explain to me the idea behind building houses for these homeless. First, it is a slap in the face to average people. If they want a house, first they have to work to earn the money and credit to purchase one. Then they have to pay property taxes to keep it. But these homeless, they should be rewarded for their inability to take care of themselves. Let’s not ask how they will furnish said property, how they will afford the utilities, and if they can’t or won’t care for themselves, you think they’ll do the opposite by caring for their property? Then there is the loss of tax revenue as surely the homeless won’t be able to pay property taxes this blighting the area as adjacent properties will be forced to offset the loss. And said adjacent properties will only lose value as no one wants to frequent businesses or live in neighborhoods where the homeless will be roaming. Are we trying to create ghettos? Are we going to walk in these unmentionables and try to forget about them?

You want to help solve the homeless problem, focus on the causes. Don’t house them without stipulations. Don’t feed them without making them warn their meal. And don’t give them funds because they’ve proven their inability to make sound choices. Reopen programs to help the mentally ill. Create rehab facilities to help those who have reached rock bottom because cushioning an addicts fall with food and free housing isn’t going to help them realize the errors of their ways. And for God’s sake, let the bums starve. If they prefer the streets to a roof with a price, then they do not belong in society. They belong on the fringe far from those who want to create families, support society, and make the world a better place. Finally, create job programs and educational opportunities so people have the chance to lift themselves out of poverty. This misguided view that people alone will help themselves is so incredibly incorrect. Fund the solutions to the causes and stop supporting the effects. You want to get rid of homelessness, right?

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