Helping the Chronically Homeless
Call me naive, (it wouldn't be the first time,) but I am really excited about this new method to help the homeless, starting in Denver.
I mentioned this back in February after the New York published Malcolm Gladwell's piece on it* and my optimism continues.
I don't, by any means, think we should dismantle programs that assist the transitionally homeless. Shelters, soup kitchens, should survive.
But I think what's so hopeful about this approach is that it is serving a population that we've basically given up on, as a society. There's something so inspiring about seeing the chronically homeless as people that can be helped.
The other thing is that, honestly, I believe that the transitionally homeless will feel more empowered to use services like shelters, if they are not surrounded by the chronically homeless: drug addicts are, let's face it, scary to be around. I wouldn't want to sleep in a homeless shelter, or allow my children to, knowing how close I was to someone who was on or coming down from or jonesing for drugs. I think it's possible to treat everyone, using less money on the chronically homeless but using it wisely; it's not an either-or proposition.
*For critique of the article look here and here and here.