This month President Joe Biden released his homeless plan, “ALL IN: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.” Be it noted, that the plan is dated December 2022, so it’s not exactly new. But this is something former President Donald Trump did as well — conduct numerous roll-outs for the same scheme.
The Biden Administration touts a worthy goal — to reduce homelessness by 25% by January 2025. That’s more realistic than President Barack Obama’s 2013 pledge to end all homelessness by 2023. And Biden’s bound to get closer to his goal. But then, administrations never meet their goals on homelessness, so…
What struck me about the Biden plan is how thin it is on specifics and rich it is in bromides. As in:
“Homelessness has no place in America."
“Ending homelessness requires an all-hands-on-deck response grounded in authentic collaboration.”
Consider language from the fact sheet:
Deploying dedicated teams across the federal government to identify opportunities for regulatory relief and flexibilities, navigate federal funding streams, and facilitate a peer learning network across the communities; and
Convening philanthropy, the private sector, and other communities to identify opportunities for follow-on support and collaboration.
In other words, there is no way to measure whether the plan worked or failed. Doing something about homelessness is not the point. Speaking as if you really want to do something about homelessness is paramount.
And the tent cities proliferate…
Debra J. Saunders is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership.
In California this has been going on since Reagan was governor back int he 1960s!! Newsom invited the homeless to come when he was running in the recall. The state legislature should act to make laws that will be easier for conservatorships to be declared and to re-open the mental hospitals for the people who need it. Other causes can include losing one's residence due to foreclosure (I felt for renters who paid their rent but the landlord got behind and these people were evicted), one illness and any other catastrophe. Regarding the illness--the brother of someone I know personally is 37 years old, fell 10 feet off the roof he was working on (he is in construction) and broke his back. His wife is practically disabled due to epilepsy. He set up a gofundme account of $50K to help pay the bills and yes, he had surgery on his back and it will take him at least a year to recover. None of these individuals chose to be homeless or close to it.