The same homeless problems
Last updated 11/18/2021 at 12:31pm
Supervisor Jim Desmond
San Diego County and the State of California have spent hundreds of millions of dollars helping those who are experiencing homelessness. However, we continue to see the problem expand with no visible results. In fact, it seems more widespread and worse. So, what can we do?
I believe that the majority of those who are experiencing homelessness struggle with substance abuse. As a society, we have gone from one extreme – the war on drugs, by incarcerating anyone using or selling drugs – to the other extreme of allowing people to abuse drugs on our sidewalks.
Many people are fed up with this situation as it’s impacting their businesses, recreation areas, freeway onramps and overpasses, and the blight from the incredible amount of garbage that is produced by encampments. I don’t blame them!
A lot has been made about the “Housing First” model which promotes putting those on the street into free housing, but this allows them to continue their drug and alcohol abuse. Shelters and free housing should not be a revolving door. We must have accountability, with treatment and incentives, to get people out of the addiction cycle. San Diego County needs to be willing to enforce removing people out of encampments and into treatment.
It’s simply inhumane to allow people to live like this on the streets. As a society, we can do better. Some may say it’s inhumane to force people off the streets and into treatment, but I think it’s more inhumane to keep people on the streets.