Author Topic: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion - Now feat. Gentrification  (Read 673 times)

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Offline Cool Chris

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There doesn't seem to be a centralized thread on this topic, though it does spill over in to other discussions. Living in the greater Seattle area (thankfully about 30 miles outside of the city limits), it seems to dominate the local news in some manner.

I don't want to rehash it all here, but the current dominant story here sorta encapsulates what is transpiring in many urban areas: Major metropolitan area has several large successful companies that employ several thousand well-compensated workers. Their presence produces secondary employment for others (construction, nearby restaurants, stores, and other businesses to meet growing demand of those employees), and raise the tax base and property values. Concurrently, or as a direct result, depending on who you ask, there is an increase in homelessness, drug usage, and people unable to afford to live in certain areas.

Specific to my region, the city of Seattle spent $54 million dollars in 2017 alone to "address homelessness." Passage of a recent tax on large businesses is expected to raise an additional $45 million per year to be spent on "homelessness services and new affordable housing." The main proponents of the tax insist Amazon (specifically) and other large businesses have created this problem, thus it is their responsibility to help fix it.

This conversation could go several different ways, so I am leaving it open rather than giving it a specific direction. I'll save my commentary for another post as I don't want to dictate where the discussion goes right out of the gate.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:41:38 PM by Cool Chris »
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 01:58:36 PM »
Funny enough, my daughter, a junior in high school, texted me about this this morning. I'll write here (more or less) what I told her:

The concept of "income inequality" is a false construct to foment class conflict, with the ultimate goal of... I don't know what?  Garner votes? 

The "homelessness" in Seattle was no more "caused by" Amazon as it was by Mike Portnoy.  if anything, sound economic principles would say that it would have been worse WITHOUT Amazon.  As a general proposition, the "salaries" in Seattle are not a "zero sum game"; there is not a finite salary pool from which the "highly compensated" then take from the "not so highly compensated".  It's just a fallacy.

And as property values rise, those that own (and can presumably have afforded the mortgage from the get-go, which is their responsibility not Amazon's) are actually CREATING wealth, not losing it, so that helps.  Finally, increasing property taxes can, if managed right (again, not Amazon's problem) contribute, among other things, to better services (i.e. presumably less crime) and better schools (i.e. presumably better opportunity). 

I'm indifferent about "homeless programs" in general - we have some obligation to help - but to pin this on big bad 'ol capitalism, and make Amazon et al pay for it, sounds like economic opportunism and scapegoating to me.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 03:26:07 PM »
I'm kind of torn on the whole deal. I agree with Stadler that Amazon isn't technically to blame. Yet I'm seeing first hand the results of gentrification down here, and those are absolutely a function of sound capitalist principles. Loosely speaking, Oak Cliff makes up about a quarter of Dallas. It's where I was born and raised, and by and large it's been where the lower-middle class live. That made it a perfect target for developers who want to redevelop, and Dallas if full of trendy hipsters who think multiculturalism is the greatest fucking thing since Pabst Blue Ribbon. A perfect match. 3 different sections of Oak Cliff get redeveloped and two are full of restaurants I can't afford to eat at. Now $150k will get you a falling down shack whereas 15 years ago it'd get you a wonderful 3/2 with a pool. Apartments that ran $450 were torn down and replaced with multi-use complexes where trendy 22 year olds pay $1350 for a 400SqFt unit with awesome fixtures and a view of the downtrodden. The neighborhood Minyards will get replaced by Whole Foods. A family run doughnut shop run by Koreans for 60 years becomes another Starbucks. Property values skyrocket. Tax revenue skyrockets. Dallas rejoices. The middle class get squeezed.

The problem is that there are a ton of people who lived there that are no longer able. If you were renting you're fucked, plain and simple. If you owned then you might be alright, but the reality is that when Mr. Trammel Crow comes a knocking the $175k he offers you won't buy you anything comparable. You probably can't afford Oak Cliff was great for entry-level home ownership. There's no such thing anymore. Hell, there's barely any room for mid-level ownership.

Is Trammel Crow evil? No. Is this his fault? I'm hesitant to ascribe fault here. Does his desire to make money in accordance with sound economic principles fuck over a huge segment of the population? Yep.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 04:29:20 PM »
The concept of "income inequality" is a false construct to foment class conflict, with the ultimate goal of... I don't know what?  Garner votes? 

It's working.

The problem is that there are a ton of people who lived there that are no longer able.

While moving and/or commuting is problematic, why are people entitled to live wherever they want, for only what they are able to afford? That sounds cold-hearted, but shouldn't people live where they can afford to live? The mentality is so skewed in Seattle that people are choosing to live in cardboard boxes, or mantions, if they are industrious enough, because they feel they are not only entitled to do so, but it is Amazon's responsibility to pay for their services since they caused the problem in the first place.

the greatest fucking thing since Pabst Blue Ribbon.




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Offline El Barto

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 04:47:35 PM »
Wherever they want, for only what they are able to afford? Nonsense. You treat this as if it's wealth allocation from rich to poor. "Why can't I work at McDonalds and live in a 400k home?!?!" It's wealth allocation the other direction. "Yeah, I realize you like this home you grew up in, but it's worth more to the city as a new development project. Here, this should be enough for something 2 towns over."

If you live in a home for 40 years, pay it off, keep it maintained, why should you have to move to something somewhere grossly inferior because developers want to build a fucking whole foods on your block? If they were offering something comparable then it would make sense. They offer you the most you can get for it, bidding wars don't generally occur after the plans to create a parking lot in your living room are announced, and it's not enough to live within 50 miles of your home, and even then not in something as nice as what you're having to give up.

The problem comes when you take all of the lower-income, but not poor, neighborhoods in a city and turn them into upscale housing communities and boutique shopping for annoying douchebags. The city of Dallas would tell you that the goal is to lift up the lower-middle class, yet that part of it never happens. They get run out, which is exactly the way they want it.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 08:22:50 AM »
I think you're talking about something different though.   Eminent domain (whether actual or constructive) is different.   I'm not sure why those people are required to move. 

I'm not that far off from you, el Barto.  I grew up in a farming community, middle class, where my mom and my grandmother grew up.   3/2, like you said, probably bought for $40k back in '69.   Now, my parents sold out in the 90's to move to FLA, but my house is still there.  I can't afford it now, but it's still there.   I used to walk through the woods behind my house, cross another street and was at a lake that I swam in my entire childhood.   Three sides were undeveloped land.  My favorite spot on the planet - a small grassy hill at the water's edge - was there, where I would read and listen to my little AM radio ("Dream... Weavah!  I believe we can reach the morning li-height!").    Well, the lake is surrounded now by 5/4's with three car garages, my little spot is some kid's playscape now, but the town remains, and those that stayed - my friends parents, who lived up the street from me - have an asset they can pass on to their kids or grandkids.   It's sad to me in the sense that my childhood is gone, but I've come to grips with that.   The school system is one of the best in the state, my friends who have stayed in town are happy... 

I can tell a similar story for the area I lived in in Georgia, and in Charlotte.   Where there used to be a four way stop with a little (I mean little; maybe 200 sq. ft.) furniture work shop is now a 8-lane (2 in each direction) lighted intersection with a Publix.   

I don't know; it sounds harsh, but I see Chris' point.  I don't have a right to live there.  What those towns were still exist.  I wrestle with the idea that we should  only move as fast as the slowest among us. 

Offline Grappler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 08:54:08 AM »
It's not the corporation's fault, nor is it their responsibility to solve the problem for you.   You should live where you can afford to live, and if you can no longer afford to live where you currently do, it is your responsibility to move to somewhere more affordable or adjust your lifestyle so you can afford to stay there.

I have never aspired to live in downtown Chicago, so I commute 50 miles to work from my job in the suburbs.  My wife quit her job to become a stay at home mom.  We did what we could to make things work - I refinanced my house to a lower interest rate for a lower mortgage payment.  I cut cable tv and we have a streaming tv provider and a cheapter internet contract for half the cost.  We paid off loans, we saved up money before she quit so that we could afford higher grocery bills (diapers and formula) for the first year or two, and for unexpected expenses.  We don't go out to eat anymore, I cut back on my hobbies.  Total lifestyle change.

That's how you do it.  I didn't look to anyone else and say "it's your responsibility to make this right because I can't afford to stay here on one income."   The same principle applies - you may want to stay there, but if it becomes unaffordable for you, it's nobody else's responsibility to allow you to stay there but your own.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 09:05:39 AM »
I think you're talking about something different though.   Eminent domain (whether actual or constructive) is different.   I'm not sure why those people are required to move. 

I'm not that far off from you, el Barto.  I grew up in a farming community, middle class, where my mom and my grandmother grew up.   3/2, like you said, probably bought for $40k back in '69.   Now, my parents sold out in the 90's to move to FLA, but my house is still there.  I can't afford it now, but it's still there.   I used to walk through the woods behind my house, cross another street and was at a lake that I swam in my entire childhood.   Three sides were undeveloped land.  My favorite spot on the planet - a small grassy hill at the water's edge - was there, where I would read and listen to my little AM radio ("Dream... Weavah!  I believe we can reach the morning li-height!").    Well, the lake is surrounded now by 5/4's with three car garages, my little spot is some kid's playscape now, but the town remains, and those that stayed - my friends parents, who lived up the street from me - have an asset they can pass on to their kids or grandkids.   It's sad to me in the sense that my childhood is gone, but I've come to grips with that.   The school system is one of the best in the state, my friends who have stayed in town are happy... 

I can tell a similar story for the area I lived in in Georgia, and in Charlotte.   Where there used to be a four way stop with a little (I mean little; maybe 200 sq. ft.) furniture work shop is now a 8-lane (2 in each direction) lighted intersection with a Publix.   

I don't know; it sounds harsh, but I see Chris' point.  I don't have a right to live there.  What those towns were still exist.  I wrestle with the idea that we should  only move as fast as the slowest among us. 
First, I'm not necessarily talking eminent domain. There are plenty of other ways gentrification can make entire neighborhoods (or a quarter of Dallas) unaffordable.

Second, I get Chris's point, too. Again, I'm not looking to blame developers for trying to make a buck. I see this is an inevitable consequence of capitalism. Contrary to what people think, capitalism has as many harms as it does benefits. "If you can't afford to live there move" isn't facially unreasonable, but I don't see any reason to be a dick about it. It's also not unreasonable to want to live in the house you bought and paid for without the city, or corporate developers, determining that you're not worthy of it and forcing you to move two towns over. People get caught up in the hardassed principled approach and gloss over the human element of it. That's a shame.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 09:59:20 AM »
I understand how gentrification works, but where I disconnect is where the "forced" comes in.   I am sensitive to the human element, but I have trouble seeing where the line might best be.   I don't mean that disrespectfully, but honestly.   I see both sides.   Bobby O., a guy I played baseball with, grew up across the street from my grandmother (who lived about a half-mile from me) and now he literally lives in the house he grew up in.  Parents passed, left it to him, and he has a house, bought and paid for, in a town that otherwise he wouldn't be able to live in (Bobby is a good guy, but he's no Robert Herjavec or Kevin O'Leary).  Me; I'm doing well.  I have a home.  I have a good job.  I get to go to shows I want to see.  But I can't live in that town today, at least not at any level that I can get somewhere else at a more reasonable price (for me).   

Offline El Barto

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 11:21:34 AM »
I understand how gentrification works, but where I disconnect is where the "forced" comes in.   I am sensitive to the human element, but I have trouble seeing where the line might best be.   I don't mean that disrespectfully, but honestly.   I see both sides.   Bobby O., a guy I played baseball with, grew up across the street from my grandmother (who lived about a half-mile from me) and now he literally lives in the house he grew up in.  Parents passed, left it to him, and he has a house, bought and paid for, in a town that otherwise he wouldn't be able to live in (Bobby is a good guy, but he's no Robert Herjavec or Kevin O'Leary).  Me; I'm doing well.  I have a home.  I have a good job.  I get to go to shows I want to see.  But I can't live in that town today, at least not at any level that I can get somewhere else at a more reasonable price (for me).
Just out of curiosity, is this an area of high housing density? One major difference I see when traveling around your parts is that houses tend to be much more spread apart. I'm talking about a major chunk of the city with a huge number of houses pretty close together, and a change to one square block can have huge effects over a very large area.

And I'm right there with you in that I don't know where the line would best be drawn. I just know that it isn't at "if they can't afford it they can GTFO! They have not right to be there!"
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 12:18:33 PM »
And I hope I haven't given the impression that I believe that last sentence; I'm with you, the line isn't there.

It's not a very high density location.  Not at all.   I don't know what you saw when you were up to see the astonishing Astonishing, but it wasn't very different from where we were for the show.   

Offline El Barto

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 01:05:15 PM »
And I hope I haven't given the impression that I believe that last sentence; I'm with you, the line isn't there.

It's not a very high density location.  Not at all.   I don't know what you saw when you were up to see the astonishing Astonishing, but it wasn't very different from where we were for the show.
That's kind of what I figured. You could build a walmart and surrounding retail up there in plenty of places without disrupting very many people. The Oak Cliff neighborhoods I'm talking about all look like this.  https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7381749,-96.8570974,1539m/data=!3m1!1e3
You slap a huge retail development in there and you change the rules for several thousand homeowners. You slap an upscale mixed use development in there, replete with $1300/mo apartments and you're pretty much running them all out. The reality is that any city of significant size needs plenty of housing in this category. That's not where the poor live, and there's no more crime there than most of the rest of the city. They're just working class people that can't afford to shop at the Crate and Barrel that'll be around once the city "invests" in the neighborhood.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 01:34:51 PM »
While for the most part I agree with what everyone is saying, I still see a major problem, especially in urban areas. There are lots of low paying jobs that are completely necessary for the function of a large city. Gas station and grocery store clerks, janitors, fry boys at McD's, etc. So it's definitely in the best interest of cities to have housing that can be afforded by the people working lower income jobs. Now in theory the pay should go up for those lower paying jobs as the cost of living goes up, but that doesn't really play out in real life to the levels necessary to keep up. These are the people that can least afford a long commute in both cost and time since many work multiple jobs, so moving out of the city to cheaper areas is not really practical for them.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 05:30:12 PM »
And I hope I haven't given the impression that I believe that last sentence; I'm with you, the line isn't there.

It's not a very high density location.  Not at all.   I don't know what you saw when you were up to see the astonishing Astonishing, but it wasn't very different from where we were for the show.
That's kind of what I figured. You could build a walmart and surrounding retail up there in plenty of places without disrupting very many people. The Oak Cliff neighborhoods I'm talking about all look like this.  https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7381749,-96.8570974,1539m/data=!3m1!1e3
You slap a huge retail development in there and you change the rules for several thousand homeowners. You slap an upscale mixed use development in there, replete with $1300/mo apartments and you're pretty much running them all out. The reality is that any city of significant size needs plenty of housing in this category. That's not where the poor live, and there's no more crime there than most of the rest of the city. They're just working class people that can't afford to shop at the Crate and Barrel that'll be around once the city "invests" in the neighborhood.

That's Charlotte.  EXACTLY.   I lived in a town called Waxhaw, just south of the City of Charlotte proper, and I was LITERALLY right on that line you're talking about. I lived in a subdivision - Ron White lived in the subdivision next to mine, by the way - and if you came to the entrance and went left, you got the Target, the Bed, Bath and Beyond, the salad store, the Chick-fil-A, etc.  You go right, and you literally were in farm country (I could see the horse fields from my house).   You go straight and that's where Wal-Mart wanted to go in, but the locals - the farmer side of things - fought it so hard that Wal-Mart went elsewhere (not that far; two exits up the highway). 

But then again, Lordxizor is describing Philly.  South Philly is more than affordable, and that's the labor source for all the money in Center City and along Pine Street.  The distance is maybe 10, 15 blocks, max.   

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 05:43:19 PM »
It's not the corporation's fault, nor is it their responsibility to solve the problem for you.   You should live where you can afford to live, and if you can no longer afford to live where you currently do, it is your responsibility to move to somewhere more affordable or adjust your lifestyle so you can afford to stay there.

I have never aspired to live in downtown Chicago, so I commute 50 miles to work from my job in the suburbs.  My wife quit her job to become a stay at home mom.  We did what we could to make things work - I refinanced my house to a lower interest rate for a lower mortgage payment.  I cut cable tv and we have a streaming tv provider and a cheapter internet contract for half the cost.  We paid off loans, we saved up money before she quit so that we could afford higher grocery bills (diapers and formula) for the first year or two, and for unexpected expenses.  We don't go out to eat anymore, I cut back on my hobbies.  Total lifestyle change.

That's how you do it.  I didn't look to anyone else and say "it's your responsibility to make this right because I can't afford to stay here on one income."   The same principle applies - you may want to stay there, but if it becomes unaffordable for you, it's nobody else's responsibility to allow you to stay there but your own.

I feel the same way.  I am not entitled to anything in this world.  I live about 45 miles south of NYC.  I can't afford to live much closer (and holy shit 150k in dallas used to get you 3/2 with a pool?!  My house was bought at 250k and its 2/1.5).  It's not my employer's job to make that affordable, it's my responsibility to find a life style suitable to my income and what my skill set offers.  If I don't like it, I need to make myself more valuable to a company in someway.  That's on me.  Sure many things we can't control and sometimes those things can lead to someone being homeless, which is why I support lots of basic wealth fare type programs.  Help people get back on their feet, but I don't think anyone is entitled to a home even if that is often labelled as "the american dream". To me, you have to earn the dream which is 100% on you not anyone else.

Offline orcus116

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2018, 06:43:37 PM »
I'm on board with that line of thinking as well as my parents have always raised me to not live above my means and I've learned to adjust as expenses/vices/hobbies have gotten to much to where I need to at least evaluate where I can cut back and rethink my spending habits. That being said I've been blessed with a good upbringing, good education, and steady job so I can afford all of these things. I'm currently renting but have been saving for a house and I hope to start looking in the very near future.

I have always felt that I'm in the minority when it comes to either this issue directly or offshoots of this issue (student loans is a good example). I realize that I'm stubborn on my stance of just letting it be dog eat dog because of how I was raised and how my brain is built to be frugal and cognizant of the consequences of my financial decisions. I also realize that not everyone is like that due to a variety of circumstances. I personally don't believe that we should go completely to the side of the poor bastard that can't get out of his own way financially and do what we can to help them out "because it's the right thing to do as a society" because the pessimistic side of my that has witnessed many decades of personal experience with human beings (in a small bubble I know) has come to the conclusion that there are just levels of people that will never ever reach the same level of financial intuitiveness and (more controversial) financial worth to the rest of society. Should they be ignored? The empathetic side of me says of course not. Should I have to subsidize their ineptitude and limitations? Gun to my head, no.

I've been listening to some podcasts lately arguing the equality of outcome versus the equality of opportunity. The former, which is gaining way more traction nowadays, seems to be a poisonous way of thinking as it attributes situations that people are in as a direct (not indirect but direct) result of things that have been discussed. And the main solution seems to be to give away the farm, somehow cleanse the "wrongs", and everyone's a happy society. In theory. Very misguided theory. Then there's the latter which I'll attribute to my parents which helps guide someone to their potentials to maybe lead them away from things that may have them ending up in poverty or other much darker paths. To me that is the better option to go towards as a society instead of just squarely blaming this on the "rich guys beating down the poor folks for profit". Is that scenario prevalent? Of course, but that's just an easy blanket answer to not wanting to admit that as far as our individual skillsets mean to society we are not and will never been truly equal as peers across the board. And that's OK for reasons explained above. But that "OK" is what seems to be making a lot of people nervous to agree with because there's this stigma that saying someone is bad at job will also make it seem like you're saying they're bad as a general human being. A lot of people can't seem to separate the two.

Offline Cool Chris

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This conversation took a different path than I intended, but I left it open to see where you all took it, so it's all good.

And I'm right there with you in that I don't know where the line would best be drawn. I just know that it isn't at "if they can't afford it they can GTFO! They have not right to be there!"

Not being able to afford to live somewhere is nowhere near equivalent to not having the right to live somewhere.
"Nostalgia is just the ability to forget the things that sucked" - Nelson DeMille, 'Up Country'

Offline Stadler

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Re: Homelessness, Poverty, "Income Inequality" discussion
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2018, 09:43:02 PM »
I've been listening to some podcasts lately arguing the equality of outcome versus the equality of opportunity. The former, which is gaining way more traction nowadays, seems to be a poisonous way of thinking as it attributes situations that people are in as a direct (not indirect but direct) result of things that have been discussed.

This is kind of a pet peeve of mine; it's a mistake that's too easy to make, because it's so easy to measure "opportunity" BY the "outcome". 

Offline Harmony

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Specific to my region, the city of Seattle spent $54 million dollars in 2017 alone to "address homelessness."

Can you be more specific about "address homelessness."  Did the funds seem to show any impact on the issues they were directed toward?

I'm curious what the breakdown of Seattle's homeless population is. How many single vs. family?  How many are Veterans?  How many are people who have migrated to the area from other states vs. home grown?  How many have chosen to remain homeless vs. working actively to get out of their situation?

I'm also thinking that it would be remiss to discuss homelessness without at least a cursory mention of addiction and mental illness.


Offline Cool Chris

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Specific to my region, the city of Seattle spent $54 million dollars in 2017 alone to "address homelessness."

Can you be more specific about "address homelessness."  Did the funds seem to show any impact on the issues they were directed toward?

That was me being snarky, since no one can adequately be more specific. These two articles are slim in their data, I haven't dug deeper to see if it is more readily available.

http://komonews.com/news/local/report-seattle-spent-53-million-on-the-homeless-in-2017
http://mynorthwest.com/983536/seattle-54-million-homelessness-2017/?

I do know $40.16-$46.80/hour is going to someone to coordinate picking up their trash.

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/seattle/jobs/1675577/homeless-encampment-trash-litter-abatement-pilot-program-administrator-pd-spec

I'm curious what the breakdown of Seattle's homeless population is.....How many are people who have migrated to the area from other states vs. home grown? 

This has been attempted but since it solely relies on responses from the homeless themselves, the data varies drastically. It is generally accepted (unless you are on the city council) that most are from out of state. See above article in a previous post of mine about the woman who moved here from W Virginia. Who packs up and moves 3000 miles to one of the country's most expensive cities and then proudly lives on the sidewalk? "We appreciate Seattle's liberal vibe," she said." Translated... "We like that Seattle not only enables homelessness and rampant public drug use, but encourages it by allowing us to live where we want, how we want, and then provides us services to keep us doing as we please."

I haven't seen data regarding single/married, men/women/children, etc... I do know that children who are living with relatives, friends, or in hotels count as "homeless." I do not know if that applies to adults.

How many have chosen to remain homeless vs. working actively to get out of their situation?

Most of them are more than happy where they are. From above article:
Quote
The city navigation team says only 37 percent of homeless people they contact accept offers of shelter. Burns says few shelters accept couples to live together, and she and her boyfriend don't want to comply with a typical shelter's rigid rules. "We don't want to change our lifestyle to fit their requirements," she said.

Emphasis mine.

Regarding addiction/drug use, the city's solution is to pick up their poisonous needles, give them new ones, and let them shoot up wherever they want without fear of repercussion. Nothing to actually get them off the junk, only ways to make it easier for them to kill themselves.

Edit.. just saw this. Not clear what "some form of service" means.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/homeless/seattle-spent-10-million-on-homeless-sweeps-in-2017/281-554503199

Quote
Of the 1,829 people the team has engaged, 675 accepted offers of safer shelter (37% acceptance rate), 1,179 accepted some form of service (64%) and 599 declined all offers of service and shelter (32%)."
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 04:52:09 PM by Cool Chris »
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Offline Harmony

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Thanks for all that info, Chris.  I really appreciated the links.

It would seem to me that taxpayers and voters should be getting more information about how existing programs are working with money already spent before being asked for more.  5K homeless moving "permanently out of homelessness" in one year seems to indicate some progress.  Perhaps more attention should be directed toward the dismal 9% of funds going to prevention.

I agree that many people do not wish to accept help.  This fact often shocks people, but it is a fact regardless.

As to the '37% accepting offers of shelter' there are reasons behind that not really brought forward by that woman's quote.  It is true that people do not turn to shelters because many shelters do not allow families or couples to stay together.  Many are barred from bringing their dogs in.  In their experiences on the street, this makes them vulnerable.  Shelters can be scary and dangerous places because of issues like mental illness, substance abuse, or criminal behavior such as theft.  When people are told they cannot protect their partner overnight or bring in their dogs who help protect them on the street, they aren't going in.  To us that may seem ridiculous but to them it is a dealbreaker.  That may be the "lifestyle changes" she is referring to.  Hard to know without gathering data instead of personal anecdotes from one person living on the street.


Offline Cool Chris

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Yes we should get better details on what these programs are accomplishing and for what amount of money, but I don
t trust the city's leadership to be transparent in that regard. They will paint the picture in one way only" one that justifies the need for more money.

I agree that the story of one woman doesn't paint the whole picture. Her brazen attitude just captured the news interest, as it is, somewhat. representative of the overall attitude of homeless here. To be so stalwart in saying "We are going to live on city sidewalks and there ain't nothing you can do about it" is completely unacceptable to me. Sad that in 2018 America, asking someone to not live on the streets is requesting they commit to an unwanted and unnecessary "lifestyle change."

I am not shocked at all so many people decline services. I am appalled that the city's response to that is "Well then, please carry on with what you're doing. Seems like you got a handle on things. We'll leave you alone then. Trash pickup is on Thursdays, and the port-a-potties should be set up next week. And here are some fresh new needles. "

She did make a point to say she is not using drugs, which probably puts her in the minority. Though I haven't seen any good numbers for those homeless who are junkies. The number one reason people don't like shelters is that they can't shoot up there. If that's your reasoning, your options should be 1) In-patient rehab, 2) jail, 3) a one-way bus ticket to your last known address.
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Offline Stadler

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As to the '37% accepting offers of shelter' there are reasons behind that not really brought forward by that woman's quote.  It is true that people do not turn to shelters because many shelters do not allow families or couples to stay together.  Many are barred from bringing their dogs in.  In their experiences on the street, this makes them vulnerable.  Shelters can be scary and dangerous places because of issues like mental illness, substance abuse, or criminal behavior such as theft.  When people are told they cannot protect their partner overnight or bring in their dogs who help protect them on the street, they aren't going in.  To us that may seem ridiculous but to them it is a dealbreaker.  That may be the "lifestyle changes" she is referring to.  Hard to know without gathering data instead of personal anecdotes from one person living on the street.

This really struck me.   At the risk of being (more) insensitive, I'm going to relate a story I've related here before.   We lived in Philly.  My ex-wife and I had a mortgage that was well in excess of $3,000 a month.   I was doing real estate and got laid off in the crash.   Not a month later, my wife got laid off.   We did what we had to do.   We sold our house.  We moved into an apartment.  I took the best opportunity I could, which meant I was working over 250 miles away - I would drive out Sunday night, and drive back Friday night.  I rented an apartment on my own dime to do it.   I was apart from my nine year old daughter over 70% of the time.  I did this for over a year.   Forgive me if I'm not really losing a lot of sleep over a homeless couple that may have to spend the night here and there in the same city but not in the same bed. 

Obviously, the world is about choices.  You make them, and you accept the consequences.  For me, that wasn't the cause of my marriage ending, but it certainly did nothing to help it.  Absence did not make the heart grow fonder (especially since there wasn't really absence back in Philly if you get what the Rock is cooking).   If you decide that your relationship can't handle being apart for a night, a week, a month, then fine, but you accept all that entails. 

Offline Harmony

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Tell me, if there were more than a good chance of your wife having her home broken into and being attacked while she slept and every last valuable thing she owned in the world taken from her would your choice still have been to leave?

It isn't about homeless couples not wanting to be split apart because they'll miss each other and they can't 'handle that'.  It is because these people are each other's protectors in extremely unsafe environments.  And many of them weigh their odds and see the streets as a much safer option for them.

Offline Stadler

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Tell me, if there were more than a good chance of your wife having her home broken into and being attacked while she slept and every last valuable thing she owned in the world taken from her would your choice still have been to leave?

It isn't about homeless couples not wanting to be split apart because they'll miss each other and they can't 'handle that'.  It is because these people are each other's protectors in extremely unsafe environments.  And many of them weigh their odds and see the streets as a much safer option for them.

Funny you mention that.   That's partly - at least it was a factor - in why we sold (at a loss) and rented.   The building we were in was markedly safer than living in a walk-up in the City.   But I don't think that's determinative.   The point is that they are still opting to be in the "unsafe environment".  And yes, "opting".   I find it difficult to accept that "safety" is the factor here when they are both together making an EXTREMELY unsafe choice to start with.

Offline Cool Chris

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Fair enough. I understand some will feel that way. But it doesn't mean that it is a safer option. See link below. Violence permeates homeless camps and areas. Regardless, it doesn't make it ok to camp out on a city sidewalk and demand the city provide for you in that fashion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/02/us/seattle-homeless-jungle-camp.html

* I know the Jungle was just one particularly violent camp and not wholly representative of others.
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Offline jammindude

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I have no idea why that meme isn't posting, but it said:

Mario Kart's "the closer to 1st place you are, the less useful power-ups you get" system is an ideal model for how our economy should work.

 :rollin
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 08:59:31 PM by jammindude »
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Offline Stadler

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And..... that explains in a nutshell why we're where we are.   Because a $20 trillion, multi-national economy is EXACTLY the same as a fucking video game where you drive "cars" that are a practical and physical impossibility. 

Offline jammindude

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Last night....that meme wasn’t displaying...weird that it’s there now.
"Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world.
Than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled." - Neil Peart

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Offline cramx3

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And..... that explains in a nutshell why we're where we are.   Because a $20 trillion, multi-national economy is EXACTLY the same as a fucking video game where you drive "cars" that are a practical and physical impossibility.

 :lol

Offline Cool Chris

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This is from a pretty conservative media source, but the sheriff interviewed and quoted has been on the job for decades and is generally highly respected. Seattle has the red carpet rolled out for these leeches to support their burgeoning homeless industrial complex. Overheard at a recent commitment meeting by a "homeless advocate: “People have the right to live wherever they want to live." That is the mentality here, and one that is being embraced and encouraged by the mayor's office and the city council.

http://mynorthwest.com/1006872/pierce-county-handcuffs/

Quote
Pierce County is taking a very different approach to the opioid-homeless-camping crisis. Troyer explained this week that they will offer you a job, they will offer you services, and then they will offer you a pair of handcuffs if you are illegally camping and committing crimes in the county.

He told us that many of the campers they talk with end up leaving their area, and heading to Seattle “because they hear how well they will be treated there and how good the services are.”
"Nostalgia is just the ability to forget the things that sucked" - Nelson DeMille, 'Up Country'