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News Scan

Homeless Hypocrisy:  California, a mecca of political correctness, has struggled for decades with how to deal with the vagrants, bums, and addicts that the more sensitive among us call the "homeless."  The liberal narrative describes them as average folks pitched into the streets through no fault of their own by heartless businesses and conservative economic policies.  Even places like San Francisco and Berkeley have gone from allowing bums to literally take over parks and sidewalks to adopting ordinances banning camping in city parks and sleeping or lying on sidewalks.  As reported by Charles Johnson of the Daily Caller, the California Legislature is coming to the rescue with the "Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Fairness Act."  The bill, AB 5, would overturn local ordinances against vagrancy and restore the right of the homeless to move freely, rest, eat, share, accept, or give food or water, and solicit donations (panhandle), in public spaces.   But when folks posing as homeless people went to the home of one of the bill's major supporters, Sacramento Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, to exercise their right to hang out on the sidewalk, he called the police (see the video at the link).  Apparently he did not intend that the law apply to him.  As Orwell noted, some pigs are more equal than others.   

Recall of Sheriff Joe Floundering:  The effort to recall longtime Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio faces a 4:00 pm deadline today for turning in 335,000 valid signatures, and organizers of the effort are not optimistic.  AP writer Jacques Billeaud reports that the campaign to retire America's toughest sheriff has had difficulty raising funds and will fall far short of the signatures needed to force a vote to remove him.  Arpaio, who supported Arizona's widely-criticized law on illegal immigration and earned a national reputation for housing low level offenders in tents and utilizing inmate labor to perform county services, is accused by opponents of racial profiling and of failing to investigate sex crimes.


Regardless of what you call them, are there any credible statistics on (1) what percentage of people who are living on the streets are genuinely mentally ill, and (2) how many of these people would not be living on the streets if they received adequate treatment for their mental illness?

I have not seen any new statistics in quite a while but the research we did on the homeless back in the 90s indicated that 1) Homeless advocates had drastically inflated the actual homeless population and 2) something like 2/3rds of the actual homeless population were mentally ill, drug addicted and/or alcoholics. The folks that have truly lost their jobs and want to work are picked up by programs (both church sponsored and government) very quickly. The rest are simply maintained on the streets by food kitchens and other well-meaning but naive programs. The short answer to your question is yes. If we had state funded mental health institutions for these people and a rational policy for involuntary commitment, many homeless would be off the streets in treatment with some hope of rejoining society.

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