Thursday, June 20, 2024

HOUSING FIRST: California Might Fix Absurd Homeless Policy

Have California liberals had it with the state’s Housing First policies for homeless people, i.e. homeless individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol?

At least one California State Assemblyman, Matt Haney, a Democrat from, of all places San Francisco, wants change. Under current state law, facilities that house homeless people must take in everybody, including addicts. These Housing First laws only treat a symptom of homelessness….as opposed to the actual problem. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 55 percent of homeless people depend on alcohol. Exactly 25 percent depend on other substances. 

Haney’s bill, if enacted into law, would allocate up to 25% of state housing funds for drug-free housing. Drug-free housing forbids tenants from using substances. 

Haney chairs California’s Select Committee on Fentanyl, Opioid Addiction and Overdose Prevention. 

Homeless individuals not subject to drug-and-alcohol-free standards are at a higher risk of overdose and falling back into homelessness. Obviously, homeless people are better able to hold one another accountable when they live in drug-and-alcohol-free facilities. They are better able to make certain they don’t fall back into bad habits.

A 2019 California Policy Lab study examined health conditions among unsheltered adults throughout the United States.

“Unsheltered people were more than four times as likely to report that physical health conditions had contributed to loss of housing as sheltered people (46% vs. 11%), nearly three times as likely to report mental health conditions had contributed to loss of housing (50% to 17%), and more than eight times as likely to report that use of drugs or alcohol had contributed to loss of housing (51% vs. 6%),” according to the study.

The “housing first” policy started under the administration of former President Barack Obama.

In 2016, California passed its own version of Housing First, which permitted homeless people to use drugs at facilities. That law prohibited state funding for sober housing.

The Cicero Institute is a Texas-based nonpartisan public policy organization that has studied the effects of homelessness.

As Cicero Senior Advisor Judge Glock wrote in 2022, the Housing First experiment did not work. Glock called it expensive, ineffective, and counterproductive. 

“Several cities and states show the failure of the Housing First approach. San Francisco has built enough permanent housing to house every single chronically homeless individual in the city back in 2011,” Glock wrote. 

“Yet instead of ‘ending homelessness,’ as then Mayor Gavin Newsom had promised, homelessness increased substantially until the city became an international byword for the homelessness crisis.

Special thanks to Warhammer’s Wife proofreading this story before publication to make certain there were no misspellings, grammatical errors or other embarrassing mistakes and/or typos. Follow Warhammer on Twitter @Real_Warhammer. Also follow Warhammer on TruthSocial at @Real_Warhammer