18 09 11 - 11:39From the slapped-in-the-face-with-a-trout-by-reality department:
Front Steps, the nonprofit group that is paid to run the facility, says the shelter is serving hundreds more people every day than the building was designed to handle. Thus, parts of it are wearing out faster than anticipated.
That story led several readers to contact me with this question: Why is the city paying $100,000 a year for maintenance when it has all the free labor it could want living under its roof? Why don't they make the homeless people clean and maintain the building? - AAS
On paper, that sounds good to the political moderate -- everyone must work! that's how we know (equal) people are good people! put these homeless people to work! -- but in reality, the situation is more complex:
Meanwhile, many of the shelter's clients have mental health, drug or medical problems that would prevent them from doing chores, Gibbs said.
I'd be willing to bet that all of them have either drug/alcohol problems or mental health problems. Generally, people don't end up homeless unless they have such a disconnect. Otherwise, they see problems coming down the line and do something to counteract them.
It's not popular to say this because everyone wants to be a victim and be pitied, but it's easy as hell to survive in this world. Every day thousands of menial jobs open up, and if you can hold down one of these without screwing up for a year or two, you will get promoted. Why? Because there is a perpetual competence and reliability shortage.
If you lose your regular job, it does suck -- no doubt about it. However, you can waltz on down to a Starbucks, McDonald's, Best Buy, Staples, Target, etc. and get a decent job so long as you show up, show up sober, and don't commit criminal or insane acts.
That leaves us with the homeless, who are broken. What should be done? Gentler, more compassionate societies would probably euthanize them to prevent them from leading miserable lives in addition to engaging in their usual routine of petty crime, public defecation and urination, child molestation and accumulation of filthy possessions in lumps near our roadways.
It seems discompassionate to say, yet what is the greater discompassion: sustaining the hopeless, or making more room for forests by removing the human life that is destructive and self-hating?