People Need Homes

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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The DAWG promotion in the June 6, 2013 Independent, and the hope expressed for a world where “every dog has a home” is kindly and compassionate in nature but seems almost cruel when we consider that there are hundreds of people living in Santa Barbara’s streets, many of whom are in their sixties, seventies, and even eighties.

So although DAWG’s aims are good ones, it is more urgent to resolve the horrendous cruelty of old and disabled people living in the street while there is, in some parts of Santa Barbara County, great opulence.

It would take approximately ten million dollars a year to house the homeless in Santa Barbara. A limit could be based on Santa Barbara’s percentage of the national population, by housing that percentage of the number of homeless in the nation. It would come to about one thousand people to be housed here. Then it would be up to other communities to do the same.

Where would the money come from? Ideally, the money would come from those in our society who have had much great financial good fortune, on a voluntary basis. For example if ten million is the amount needed annually in Santa Barbara to house our corresponding percentage of the homeless, then a voluntary annual donation of ten thousand would be needed from one thousand wealthy people in Santa Barbara County. Of course, people who can afford to can offer more, and others something less.

Is this a wild dream? Perhaps. But then, so is but then so is “a perfect world where every dog has a home.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

It is indeed a shameful situation. It can't last, and you see it falling apart around you now.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 11:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

While I agree completely in theory, I also think there's absolutely nothing "cruel" or wrong about using that language to help home animals. Both people and animals are worthy causes. I do think SB has a much more conservative and judgmental attitude towards humans in need of ANY kind, be it addiction, financial straits, mental illness or homelessness that causes that need.

Until we change people's attitudes and fear (and I do believe it's fear that makes people look down their nose at their fellow human beings) about these issues, we won't make much progress.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 4:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You hear some locals rail against the evils of LA, but the worst aspects of LA are already here: greed, selfishness, superficiality, exploiting people in the guise of friendship, slumlords, it's all here except the good stuff like affordable housing because that might mean heaven forbid nonbourgeoise moving in.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 5:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In theory, $10M might house all the homeless in SB. In practice, it would be a complete disaster. Two things would happen once either the government, charities or private individuals provided the housing to the homeless. 1. Those marginal or "almost" homeless would suddenly become "homeless" in order to take advantage of the free housing. 2. You'd also get an influx of homeless into SB from other areas in order to receive the free housing. Suddenly, your $10M is gone, and there's a need for much much more. Also, some (I stress "SOME") homeless (or near homeless) would take the money they would normally have spent on housing and spend it on alcohol or drugs instead.

It's a really nice thought though.

Botany (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 7:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If they use their housing money on alcohol and drugs they'll die faster and there'll be more vacancies. Maybe that's the whole reason alcohol is so heavily promoted around here? "Kill off the masses."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 8:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As cynical as I am I don't think there's a plot to get rid of homeless people via alcohol. The reason alcohol is promoted is because like selling drugs, it reaps $$$. The only difference is one is legal.

Your previous post gets an A+. I couldn't have said it any better myself.

I agree with Botany on the point that simply giving money away isn't the answer. If real estate prices in Santa Barbara were not so inflated, people would be able to survive on blue-collar jobs, but clearly cannot. We keep dancing around this core issue and suggest "a living wage" but it doesn't hit the core issue. I think Ken's post about greed as well as the author's appeal for better behavior hit at the root of the issue.

As for alcohol, let's also take that one a step further: Why is there SO MUCH obsession with booze? Well, look around you. People are absolutely frantic just trying to get from Point A to Point B. If you drive the speed limit, you will notice there is almost never a time when you can drive without someone breathing down your tailpipe. Why are these people so frantic? Because they have to work two to three jobs in order to survive, and no matter how fast they run on the economic treadmill of southern California, they still are getting their heels bitten. Add to that, the "you can't be too rich or too thin" mentality coming out of Hollywood. When all people do is worry about surviving, and are under constant stress, any wonder they drink and do drugs?

Go to the Midwest, or the Great Plains, life isn't perfect, but with the exception of the big cities, you don't have these discussions. Land is affordable, people are more relaxed.

For what it's worth, Santa Barbara was affordable back in the early '70's but then the prices took off out of reach from the average person and while it may have been a little more expensive than the aforementioned inner states, (as well as other areas around the U.S.) one could still work hard and get ahead. Now, it's more of a lottery game.

If we could "reset to default" in that sense, maybe the topic of discussion wouldn't constantly revolve around shelter security and where's the best place to get drunk.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 9:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Of course I don't believe there is an actual conspiracy, only an actual effect.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 11:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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