The Guardian is attempting to argue that "better" is not "good enough."
It's shit like this:
Just over a week after arriving in Puerto Rico, Ortiz sent a Facebook message to say that his prospects were looking up: he had an interview for a job as a security guard. In late September, Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria, devastating the island’s infrastructure and sending its economy into freefall. The Guardian has reached out to the family but not heard from them since.
Let's look at that timeline:
- "Early 2017": Family of 3 flies from Puerto Rico to Delaware
- July 2017: Family of 3 bails on family connections in Delaware, goes to NY
- July 2017: City of NY puts family of 3 in shelter for 10 days, buys them 3 plane tickets back to Puerto Rico
- July 2017: head of household reports prospects good
- September 2017: Hurricane hits Puerto Rico
Fundamentally, this was not New York's problem. Fundamentally, these were not long-term residents of New York. Fundamentally, New York went out-of-pocket not to send the family back to Delaware, where there was reasonable accommodation, but back to Puerto Rico, where things were "looking up." But never mind, hurricane, therefore boo hiss New York.
Shit like this:
In 2013, the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, a state-run facility, was alleged to have discharged around 1,500 patients, often with little more than their medication and a bus voucher to leave the city. One of the patients killed themselves after their bus journey and another committed a homicide, according to a lawsuit brought by former patients.
So look. Unless you are a proximate threat to your own life or the life of others, no one can compel medication. And if they can't compel medication, they can't compel shelter. 1 in 5 homeless people is mentally ill. The fact that we're discharging from a mental hospital means that of these clients, 5 in 5 are mentally ill.
Between 1 in 20 and 1 in 40 homicides are committed by the mentally ill. NiMH, for their part, puts the number of severely mentally ill people in the united states at 9.8 million. There were 15,696 homicides in the United States in 2015; if 3% of them were committed by the mentally ill, That means 471 homicides were committed by the mentally ill. 471/9.8m is .05 homicides per thousand; in a population of 15 thousand homeless, one of them will statistically be a murderer. As far as suicide, 90% of suicides are carried out by the mentally ill. Meanwhile in a 9-year case study, 9 of 1100 homeless people committed suicide so f'n 1 in 15,000 is a spectacular success. Never mind the fact that in that same study, 13% of the homeless died before the study was over.
"Do you have a support network here?" "No."
"Do you have a support network there?" "Yes."
"Great. Go there. Here's a bus ticket."
I don't see the evil, and The Guardian really, really wants me to. Follow-up? Yeah, try pitching that one:
"We'd like budget approval to track the success or failure of homeless we have bussed out of our district into others to see how well it worked."
"You mean how well their homeless programs worked?"
"No, our homeless program... after they cease to be our responsibility."
"How is that going to help the homeless in our community?"
"...it will let us know whether we should keep bussing them out or not?"
"No, it will give us data on whose homeless programs work the best. pretty sure we already have that data."
"Look. We spend a half million a year in NY to get people somewhere better for them. We spend 1.7 billion a year housing them. Don't you have, like, work to do?"