Are There No Poorhouses?

This story about homeless shelters (CHT Jesse Walker) won’t be news to anyone who’s ever actually talked to a homeless person; but if you haven’t, it’s worth a read.

I wonder how severe the legal hassles are for those wanting to start a homeless shelter that doesn’t treat people like crap.


10 Responses to Are There No Poorhouses?

  1. Roderick June 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    And we can add this story alongside it.

  2. Black Bloke June 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    And of course with a title like that it’s only appropriate to link this:

  3. Kevin Carson June 6, 2009 at 1:27 am #

    I’m sure the legal hassles are enormous. After all, we have to protect the homeless from shelters that aren’t properly inspected and up to snuff (you know, just like we have to protect them from living in their cars). Living on the street is much better than living in a substandard shelter.

  4. Kevin Carson June 6, 2009 at 1:33 am #

    P.S. I think the material from Dougald Hine and Nathan Cravens quoted in this link, and my specific remarks on housing, might be relevant:

  5. Richard Garner June 8, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    There are some nutty comments on this at the Reason link. For instance, his complaint that being trapped in the shelter prevents him doing productive things illicited responses like, “clearly not economically productive, or else he wouldn’t be homeless.” Somebody else said that curfews are usually at eleven and are more likely to prevent people sneaking off to bars than from gaining work.

    In response to these, first, how many homeless people can afford to sneak off to bars? Homeless alcoholics drink special brew and nighttrain on park benches because it is cheap. They don’t sneak off to bars to spend twice as much on half as much booze!

    Second, “economically productive” activities, like doing a job, first require getting a job. If you are trapped in a hostel, you have less time to go around looking for work, etc. So the fact that it might not be “economically productive” time that is lost trapped in a hostel does not prove that it was not productive.

  6. Jesse Walker June 9, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    In defense of Reason’s readers, very few of the comments below my posts were from Hit & Run regulars. The article was linked by Fark and we got a large influx of visitors from there, some of them sensible, some of them…not.

  7. Ouranosaurus June 12, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    My suburban hometown saw an increase in homelessness from about five to 10 people a decade ago to 100 plus in the last three or four years. So they’re finally building a permanent homeless shelter/centre. Except the guy who designed it (a Salvation Army fellow) is not a complete moron, so it will allow the homeless to lock up their bikes, buggies or whatever in secure storage overnight, and there’s been talk of allowing pets in as well. Those are two of the biggest hurdles right there. It has long-term transition housing, too, job training, nurses on site, etc. I’m sure there will still be some idiocy in terms of the rules, but not all the people who work with the homeless are complete morons.

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