Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Deserving Poor

In response to Bobby's post in which a businessman complained about the homeless taking over San Francisco, threatening its residents, and creating unacceptable levels of disorder, I posted:

One of the reasons I refuse to consider myself a liberal is because it seems to be a tenet of liberalism that the homeless are always the victims, never the victimizers.  Having worked with poverty in my professional days, I am well aware of the poor who are suffering for no good reason and certainly through no fault of their own. But I am well aware that a good many of the homeless are homeless because of their drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or mental instability. I hate to sound like I'm from the 19th century but some of the poor aren't among the "deserving poor".

I have known individuals who refused to go to shelters to keep safe because they were not allowed to use drugs or alcohol while they were there.

The problem is complex, but in its simplest form we need to provide support for those who need it and want it, while at the same time refusing to allow the dangerous and addicted to take control of our streets.

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