The state of California is like the "pretty girl" or "hot guy" sitting by themselves in the corner of a bar. They have the physical attributes that make them attractive. But when you approach them and speak with them...they are bat-shit crazy. California's physical attributes include amazing shorelines, national parks (e.g. Yosemite and Sequoias National Park...), beautiful deserts and perfect weather. California also has the worst traffic in the world, an educational system that is in shambles, tons of bureaucracy (try going to the DMV to obtain the new "Real" ID) and a dramatic increase in homelessness. California is willing to throw money at these problems. California has the highest state income tax in the nation at 13.3%. This doesn't include the recent increases in gas taxes, car registrations fees and local sales taxes. The increased tax revenue should mean that better roads, bridges, schools, electrical and water infrastructure and a decrease in poverty and homelessness. Unfortunately, tax payers are not seeing a return on their investment.
Let me focus on homelessness problem in California. The US Interagency Council on Homelessness data reveals that there were almost 130,000 homeless in January of 2018. And rates continue to rise despite programs targeted to help the homeless. The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, looks to help the homeless by building more homes. The solution to the homelessness problem is within the name...HOME-LESS. Here is the solution...if we give them homes, they will no longer be HOME-LESS. People are not on the streets because they recently lost their job. They are on the streets because they are 1) mentally ill, 2) have a chemical addiction or 3) think it would be "neat" to experience living on the streets.
There are two problems with simply providing a home. First of all, are we attacking the root of the problem? The house has a leak, the house is flooding and we just want to replace some of the drywall. Let's find and fix the actual leak in the pipe. Secondly, even if the state, county or city wanted to build more housing, the cost of building more homes would be astronomical due to the multitude of layers of bureaucracy required to build new homes.
Let's attack the real sources of homelessness and truly help those in need with effective solutions. Do not call it "homelessness" from this day forward. Let's call them what they really are...people that are mentally ill and/or addicted that require professional assistance.
Let's stop the house from flooding by fixing the leak in the pipe. But what the heck do I know...I'm just Joe.
I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend and Biology professor. We are on this Earth for a limited amount of time. Let's think, laugh and love.