New York’s Approach to Homelessness is a Warning to America

New York is falling apart at the seams in terms of the housing situation. In fact, the number of homeless is now estimated at more than 80,000; the cost of living keeps rising, too.

It’s not only that, of course, but also runaway inflation, drug abuse, mental illness, economic breakdown, and family problems that feed into the nation’s homeless crisis.

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America in 2022 should be a place of hope and strength, but instead, it’s become a zone of despair for far too many people.

Here’s why New York has done so badly in dealing with homelessness and poverty. Here’s how other cities and states can try to avoid it.

Homeless is Expensive

The first thing to realize is homelessness is expensive for cities and states. The average cost of a homeless person to the system is twice the amount of costs to teach a student in the public school system.

In the Big Apple, each homeless person is costing the city an average of around $44,000 per year. I think we’d all love to get this kind of money in a check in the mail. Instead, a lot of it is going to services, resources, and programs for the homeless.

In fact, San Francisco funnels $107,000 on average in resources to each homeless person. New York also pumped plenty of money into fighting homelessness, but it only made the situation worse.

Poor homeless folks fight for space to set up tents, clash over drugs, have violent incidents, and are victims or perpetrators of sexual assault.

Many cycles have people in and out of the criminal justice system or mental health services, eventually settling into a sad and dangerous routine on the streets.

There’s a lot of money being invested here in things like shelters and addiction recovery, as I said. So, why isn’t it working?

It’s Not Just About Money

Many shelters are in desperate conditions. It’s not just because of money, but because of dangerous conditions and individuals. It is hard to find qualified people to work in dangerous places.

Furthermore, a lot of the big money going to resources in places like New York is getting squandered or being pocketed.

Saying you’re helping the homeless sounds pretty good, especially if you’re looking to pad a budget or pay a kickback to somebody.

The sad truth is as we see in many leftist locales, funding to fight social ills often spirals into corruption. The more the problem grows, the more the funding is justified and the more budgets and corruption grows.

It’s a vicious cycle, to say the least.

What’s the Solution?

The government in places like New York uses the homeless crisis as a cash cow to bulk up public spending and pad budgets.

There isn’t nearly enough force of will in ending this problem for real, because too many special interest groups and progressive politicians are still piggybacking on it.

Ending homelessness will require getting serious about encouraging healthy families, bolstering an America First economy, fighting twice as hard against drug abuse, and providing real jobs, missions, and meaning for American citizens.

This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.

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