Vagrant reality


A couple of interesting items yesterday regarding vagrancy (or as they call it these days, "homelessness"). John Derbyshire reports on the "battalions" of street people he encountered at City Hall Plaza in San Francisco, and reports that city leaders can't understand why the "homeless" population is increasing "despite" all the money they spend on the problem.

San Francisco is indeed generous to street people. A homeless adult on county welfare gets $395 a month, more than in any neighboring jurisdiction. There is no requirement that recipients have any roots in the county, nor is there any work requirement. I am willing to bet, though I haven't found a source, that there is not even a requirement for U.S. citizenship. So far as I have been able to discover, there are no requirements whatsoever. You just quit your job, move to a place with the most agreeable climate in the world, cease attending to matters of personal hygiene, get yourself a substance habit, and sign on for a hundred bucks a week, no questions asked. And Ms. Lelchuk wonders why the "homeless" population is growing!

Elsewhere on National Review Online, Jay Nordlinger links to a story from Oklahoma City TV station KFOR, in which Brad Edwards investigates what panhandlers do with the money people give them:

And, at another favorite panhandler intersection, I watched a crippled man flying a "need help" sign. He received four donations from drivers in only 17 minutes.

A local convenience store manager says the man doesn't limp when he's in using the donations to buy quarts of beer.

I approached him outside and the homeless man admitted to having cirosis of the liver and hepatitis, probably from alcohol abuse....

Meanwhile, back to our group of organized panhandlers who work their signs in two-hour shifts. They claimed the money wasn't for alcohol or drugs, they wanted to find a way off the streets. This, even though we found them sitting, well away from the highway, and out of sight. Drinks went behind the bench as we approached.

Tulsa has plenty of "hand-out" services for vagrants, but there is also a "hand-up" available. The best way you can help a street person who truly wants to escape self-medicated vagrancy is to get them to John 3:16 Mission, which offers a long-term rehabilitation program, as well as emergency food, shelter, and clothing.

John 3:16 Mission provides this list of eight ways to help the homeless.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 20, 2003 2:20 AM.

A look at the history of the King James Version was the previous entry in this blog.

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