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Here's What Happened When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them in Jail

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posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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originally posted by: sacgamer25
a reply to: FyreByrd

It is cheaper to love than to ignore or arrest the homeless, who would have thought?

This story is both beautiful and sad.

We are applauding a city who's only reason to help the homeless was to save money.

I am happy that it is working for the homeless but I will be much happier when the world does humanitarian things without concern for money.

Love should be enough of a motivator to help the homeless, it is sad that it only came about because it was financially sound.


While I agree that it's sad that money may, and I repeat may, have been the prime motivator we can't asume that it was the only reason.

And money is an issue in these matters. Prevention is always less expensive then dubious cures - in all social arenas. The problem lies in big business using cures (not cures in most cases but 'treatment', expensive and ongoing) to reap morally reprehensible profits from the public (you & me) purse.

Prevention is productive economically only (not only but to a large extent - big business would still receive some benefit but not enough to appease the monster) to local and smaller business and hence not only helps those in direct need but those who do the helping.




posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 01:46 PM
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Now if they could figure out a way to outsource the entire program to Siberia, they could cut the cost of that program to pennies on the dollar.

Since it doesn't matter where a homeless person is, since they're not directly contributing to the economy, instead of an apartment in Salt Lake City, they could get the Russians to build a camp. Relocation costs would be the biggest expense, but after that, these homeless people could be housed for a fraction of the cost.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: MKMoniker

Heh, I agree with you almost on everything. Only small clarification:
FBI had trouble with "at least 3 years clean". I didn't say that its now permitted to smoke in its cubeland. I just pointed out that not every pothead is unwanted even in the eyes of top government agency. I was not talking in general about "consuming addictive substances" at workplace. Often it is clearly contraproductive. But not every work is from 9 till 5 and not everybody needs to stay sharp all the time.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: tavi45

I don't care for Mormons, but have to agree with you that what they are doing is a good job



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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I have nothing to add that hasn't been said, but I loved this as well

S & F for you good sir



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: Cuervo
a reply to: FyreByrd

Another example of how curmudgeonry and miserliness is strictly for giggles and is not truly part of a smart fiscal conservative game.

People that tout that logic (the screw you, I got mine, bootstraps, rabble rabble, git off mah lawn types) often don't understand they are shooting themselves in their collective foot when they shoot down any discussion of creative solutions like this.

If you keep stomping on the poor and letting them starve, they'll continue to be a drain. You give them housing and a foothold, they'll be your future customers, lining your pockets. All the while, saving you money. Upward mobility from the bottom of a well is a myth. Trickle-down is a myth. You need to have a base or everything will trickle down into a flat mud puddle, including the rich folks.

Bravo, Salt Lake. Can't stand being in that city but they just went up a few notches on my respect board.


I agree with your comments. I read the article (I know you didn't post it) and find it lacking in details. The article implies that homelessness is criminalized (it certainly is) but mentions that, in addition to being jailed repeatedly for being homeless, the featured woman spent time in prison. I doubt that any of the common charges related to homelessness (vagrancy, etc) lead to prison sentences.

I wish the article had explained how Salt Lake City has dealt with several major problems among the homeless: severe drug and alcohol addiction, criminality (beyond that directly related to homelessness such as vagrancy) and mental illness. I do not mean to imply that all homeless people fall into these categories but a substantial number do. Some of these problems make it extremely difficult for them to stay in housing even when it is provided.

It seems reasonable to deal with homelessness by first separating the homeless into groups. Those simply down on their luck need a hand-up and can benefit hugely from being provided with housing. Those falling into the other categories need housing plus other strategies. I would guess that a significant percentage of those people end up back on the streets. I would be interested in reading a follow up on the Salt Lake City solution.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 05:37 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I found this information about the Salt Lake City project (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013): 73% of the homeless in the study had barriers to permanent housing. The barriers were defined as mental illness, domestic violence, etc.. Interestingly, drug and alcohol addiction was not listed separately and likely is included under mental illness. I don't understand why domestic violence (although clearly it could be a cause of homelessness) would remain a barrier to permanent housing. It might mean that the victims of domestic violence were too afraid to stay in one place where they could be found by their abusers.

At the end of the year 53% of the people in the study were listed as exiting to permanent destinations. It is unclear what this means although I'll assume that it means "permanent" housing. Thirty-nine percent were listed as exiting to other destinations (institutional settings, deceased, family and friends). Eight percent were listed as exiting to homelessness.

I wish the study had done a better job of defining its terms. For example, referring to "exiting to permanent destinations" suggests permanency although the study does not offer any supporting evidence to prove this permanency. If 73% of the homeless in the study have barriers to permanent housing, how do 53% obtain permanent housing? Reading between the lines, many of them will not be able to stay in permanent housing long term.

jobs.utah.gov...



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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originally posted by: Fylgje
if you can't take care of yourself then it's possible signs of mental illness mixed possibly with drug/alcohol abuse. If you're found living, for example, under a bridge, then that person should be taken to a mental facility and evaluated. If it's deemed that you cannot care for yourself, then the facility will.

But it's complicated because there's the freedom of will issue. Does someone have the right to be a bum? Do they have a right to be homeless if they so choose to live that type of lifestyle? IMO, they do have the right to be a bum. I'm just kicking thoughts around here...It's a heartbreaking and complicated issue. But I don't, however, agree with giving them everything. That could encourage it.


The free will issue is a big one. I agree that people should have the right to live "off the grid" if they so choose. However, they're usually doing so on someone else's property or public property and interfering with the rights of others. What then?



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 05:50 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: Fylgje
if you can't take care of yourself then it's possible signs of mental illness mixed possibly with drug/alcohol abuse.


Your post is so insulting and reeks of ignorance! As someone who has lived on the street, I seriously take offense to your statements. I can only assume you know nothing about the homeless.

Good for SLC! It's a smart and economically wise move!
Hopefully, this will become a model for the nation.


I agree that the post was ignorant. However, are you claiming that a significant percentage of the homeless are NOT mentally ill/addicts? Studies show otherwise. As someone with the unfortunate experience of having lived on the streets, can you suggest a way to deal with the mentally ill/addicts to get them into permanent housing where they will be able to stay? Take into account that those who are mentally ill/addicts may, because of their behavior, have problems keeping permanent housing.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 06:13 PM
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Okay I'll be that guy... This may seem like a grand idea but there is a fact most are ignoring here... Well a few actually... For one, it was only so costly to have homeless people in the first place because THEY made it illegal to be homeless! And were locking people up for the simple fact of being homeless! So they created the problem they are now claiming to have solved, a nice way to usher in socialism and have you all begging for it and saying what a marvelous idea it is XD

Another thing is this... Where is the money coming from? That's right, it's being stolen from folks using force! So the homeless get a free ride and the workers get docked 70% of the money they worked hard for! Yep what a lovely thing this is XD

Now hold up there honcho before you start to flaming... I don't think homeless should be left to rot, far from it! I just disagree with using force against people! I mean if I tried to do it it would be illegal! No matter how many poor I saved with my ill gotten gains! That really doesn't matter at all because theft is theft! Simple as that! Force is force, simple as that...

I believe this is a community problem that should be solved in the community... Imagine if the gov didn't steal 70% of your money in the first place! How many would have not gotten into this mess in the first place! How many people would give freely to help others and offer real care and support!

Bleh to this socialism, we have it in the UK, I KNOW what it leads to! Just you wait and see!

edit on 10-10-2014 by Meee32 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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originally posted by: Meee32
Okay I'll be that guy... This may seem like a grand idea but there is a fact most are ignoring here... Well a few actually... For one, it was only so costly to have homeless people in the first place because THEY made it illegal to be homeless! And were locking people up for the simple fact of being homeless! So they created the problem they are now claiming to have solved, a nice way to usher in socialism and have you all begging for it and saying what a marvelous idea it is XD

Another thing is this... Where is the money coming from? That's right, it's being stolen from folks using force! So the homeless get a free ride and the workers get docked 70% of the money they worked hard for! Yep what a lovely thing this is XD

Now hold up there honcho before you start to flaming... I don't think homeless should be left to rot, far from it! I just disagree with using force against people! I mean if I tried to do it it would be illegal! No matter how many poor I saved with my ill gotten gains! That really doesn't matter at all because theft is theft! Simple as that! Force is force, simple as that...

I believe this is a community problem that should be solved in the community... Imagine if the gov didn't steal 70% of your money in the first place! How many would have not gotten into this mess in the first place! How many people would give freely to help others and offer real care and support!

Bleh to this socialism, we have it in the UK, I KNOW what it leads to! Just you wait and see!


The UK is no more socialist than is the U.S.. Look at real socialist countries such as the Scandinavian countries if you want to know how socialism works.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 10:12 PM
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Killer thread...


How often do we talk about good things happening in the news on ATS?

Why is that?

A couple videos worth watching that cover this story:




posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Murgatroid

Thank you for the videos.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 10:51 PM
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originally posted by: Meee32
Okay I'll be that guy... This may seem like a grand idea but there is a fact most are ignoring here... Well a few actually... For one, it was only so costly to have homeless people in the first place because THEY made it illegal to be homeless! And were locking people up for the simple fact of being homeless! So they created the problem they are now claiming to have solved, a nice way to usher in socialism and have you all begging for it and saying what a marvelous idea it is XD


Criminalizing the homeless wasn't done in order to, as you say, "usher in socialism". Quite the contrary, it was done in order to profit the prision-industrial corporations (ones that require - note require - that a certain percentage of prision beds be filled - they have to paid for by US whether or not filled) and the wealthy owners of these companies. The exact opposite of socialism.

You may not have private prisons in the UK yet - but it's coming your way and it has nothing to do with socialism it has to do with greed and hate and fear.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 10:59 PM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: Fylgje
if you can't take care of yourself then it's possible signs of mental illness mixed possibly with drug/alcohol abuse.


Your post is so insulting and reeks of ignorance! As someone who has lived on the street, I seriously take offense to your statements. I can only assume you know nothing about the homeless.

Good for SLC! It's a smart and economically wise move!
Hopefully, this will become a model for the nation.


I agree that the post was ignorant. However, are you claiming that a significant percentage of the homeless are NOT mentally ill/addicts? Studies show otherwise. As someone with the unfortunate experience of having lived on the streets, can you suggest a way to deal with the mentally ill/addicts to get them into permanent housing where they will be able to stay? Take into account that those who are mentally ill/addicts may, because of their behavior, have problems keeping permanent housing.


At one time, in the history of the US, the mentally ill were cared for, largely by the state, in state run mental hospitals. Those hospitals also had addiction wings in them. But since saint ronnie raygun closed the publically run mental hospitals in CA in the seventies and led the charge to close them in other states as well and he went into his sainthood, the only option for the mentally ill poor was the streets or jail where they are mistreated.

For addicts, there are some few beds available - but most end up on the streets or in jail where no treatment is possible.

Both conditions, and yes they do often lead to homelessness for poor victims, can be treated with prevention and forethought. Either prevention or 'handling' take tax dollars; prevention is less expensive with better outcomes whereas 'containing' the problem creates worse outcomes but much profit to the wealthy.



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 11:33 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I don't even see stars. Guess I gotta use my computer not my phone? Not too concerned. I never get into the deeper uses of websites :p

Back during my Reddit phase I never used the up/down vote stuff



posted on Oct, 10 2014 @ 11:43 PM
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Most folks have no idea what it’s like being homeless; not even a clue. I would think the average person in this country has about as much understanding of what it’s like being homeless as they do what it’s like living on Mars, or spending time in a supermassive black hole. It’s just not part of our daily experience. On the one hand, that’s a good thing. We really don’t know how lucky we are. On the other hand, though, our ignorance often breeds misconceptions, injustice, and righteous, moral indignation.

I think when a person becomes homeless it’s like they’re plucked/removed from society and looked down upon like lepers. They’re immediately stigmatized, shunned by society, and considered immoral, lazy, addicted, pathetic creatures. For the most part society has no tolerance or compassion for their plight and wishes they would simply disappear. Poof! Vanish from the face of the Earth. Either that or be thrown in some dark dungeon, never to be seen or heard from again.

I don’t agree with those who claim that tax money used for the needy and disadvantaged is money stolen from the taxpayer. I believe that line of thinking is self-centered, self-serving, totally lacking of compassion, and morally bankrupt. I pay a LOT in taxes every year and have no problem at all with whatever portion of it goes to the social safety net. Living in a civilized society is not a free ride for those of us who can afford to make a contribution. Most people seem to forget they live one paycheck away from joining the ranks of the homeless. What if suddenly your paycheck stopped coming and you couldn’t find another job right away? Or what if your brother, or sister, or parents’ source of income suddenly dried up? Would you feel like they’re robbing you of your hard-earned tax dollars? Would you look down on them if you saw them on the street?

Most of us never stop to think about what it would be like if suddenly we had no home to go to; no bed of our own to lay our head down; nowhere to shower up and shave in the morning; no money to buy something to eat when our belly is growling and aching from neglect; the loss of security and constant fear for your life in the concrete jungle; and of course, the constant fear of the Boys in Blue who are always eager to harass you and throw you behind bars. Not to speak of the mental stress and agony that must come along with it; the feelings of worthlessness, the loss of dignity and self-respect, and for many a growing feeling that suicide might be the only way out. I would think that with all that weighing heavily on you it might be kinda hard to work up the motivation to get all dressed up bright and early, put on your best face and knock ‘em dead at a job interview.

I know there are always those who are incurable and, whether due to mental illness or having become assimilated by the environment, will always have a problem rejoining society. But I’m also pretty sure there are many homeless people who are just down on their luck and could get right back up on their feet with a little help. So, I think the Housing First program is a good thing, and was well conceived. It would help many regain some of their lost dignity and self-respect. It would also make it a lot easier for them to shower, shave and go out looking for a job. It makes a lot more sense than incarcerating the homeless in an endless cycle of hopelessness and despair.

So, wake up America and have a heart! Follow Salt Lake’s lead. It’s just the right thing to do...


edit on 10/10/2014 by netbound because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 12:14 AM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd

originally posted by: Meee32
Okay I'll be that guy... This may seem like a grand idea but there is a fact most are ignoring here... Well a few actually... For one, it was only so costly to have homeless people in the first place because THEY made it illegal to be homeless! And were locking people up for the simple fact of being homeless! So they created the problem they are now claiming to have solved, a nice way to usher in socialism and have you all begging for it and saying what a marvelous idea it is XD


Criminalizing the homeless wasn't done in order to, as you say, "usher in socialism". Quite the contrary, it was done in order to profit the prision-industrial corporations (ones that require - note require - that a certain percentage of prision beds be filled - they have to paid for by US whether or not filled) and the wealthy owners of these companies. The exact opposite of socialism.

You may not have private prisons in the UK yet - but it's coming your way and it has nothing to do with socialism it has to do with greed and hate and fear.


I won't dispute that there are for-profit prisons but I will dispute that people get sent to prison for being homeless. Being homeless, in itself, is not a crime anywhere that I'm aware of. The homeless get arrested for such things as vagrancy and similar minor crimes and may end up in jail but not prison. If I'm wrong, please cite examples of homeless people who have been sent to prison for other than major crimes.



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd

originally posted by: Tangerine

originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: Fylgje
if you can't take care of yourself then it's possible signs of mental illness mixed possibly with drug/alcohol abuse.


Your post is so insulting and reeks of ignorance! As someone who has lived on the street, I seriously take offense to your statements. I can only assume you know nothing about the homeless.

Good for SLC! It's a smart and economically wise move!
Hopefully, this will become a model for the nation.


I agree that the post was ignorant. However, are you claiming that a significant percentage of the homeless are NOT mentally ill/addicts? Studies show otherwise. As someone with the unfortunate experience of having lived on the streets, can you suggest a way to deal with the mentally ill/addicts to get them into permanent housing where they will be able to stay? Take into account that those who are mentally ill/addicts may, because of their behavior, have problems keeping permanent housing.


At one time, in the history of the US, the mentally ill were cared for, largely by the state, in state run mental hospitals. Those hospitals also had addiction wings in them. But since saint ronnie raygun closed the publically run mental hospitals in CA in the seventies and led the charge to close them in other states as well and he went into his sainthood, the only option for the mentally ill poor was the streets or jail where they are mistreated.

For addicts, there are some few beds available - but most end up on the streets or in jail where no treatment is possible.

Both conditions, and yes they do often lead to homelessness for poor victims, can be treated with prevention and forethought. Either prevention or 'handling' take tax dollars; prevention is less expensive with better outcomes whereas 'containing' the problem creates worse outcomes but much profit to the wealthy.


Yes, you're right about Ronald Reagan leading the charge to dump the mentally ill onto the streets. The problem is what to do with the mentally ill and homeless addicts now. Any reasonable suggestions?
edit on 11-10-2014 by Tangerine because: changed addicted addicts (duh) to homeless addicts



posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 12:20 AM
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I have decided to be a gypsie and roam around in my mobile home. I'm a ramblin man, made alot of stops, all over the world.



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