Charley James reports that the powers-that-be have finally understood the solution to "homelessness." I put the label in quotes because I remember a time in this country when we didn't expect that our cities and towns would have a permanent population of people who didn't have a stable roof over their heads. We called the few such people we saw "transients," or "beggars" or maybe "bums" -- but we thought of their condition as a short term state, uncommon, something of a throwback to a poorer, harsher time.
That ended in the early 1980s when the Federal Reserve created a sharp recession to curb inflation just as Ronald Reagan's administration pressed forward the long Republican war on provision for the poor. Suddenly San Francisco had beggars on the street who weren't young hippies, but "the homeless." Under Dianne Feinstein -- our mayor 1978-88 -- we began to see the billboards touting the "Mayor's Fund for the Homeless." A new category of persons, slightly subhuman, had been defined and the numbers of homeless people continued to grow.
Now, apparently, there is interest in a new path.
Maybe saving money can persuade elites to devote urban real estate to cheap housing. President Obama plans to introduce legislation that would push for this. Of course if it has to get through a Republican Congress, the prognosis isn't good.
You can read the rest of Charley Jame's article here. Apparently he is writing a book based on his own experience of being without a home.