State legislators and Anchorage city officials after spending millions to mitigate homelessness with no success, are now in Marie Antoinette fashion publicly squabbling over where to put the homeless, with no acceptable plan to fix the crisis.
Over a decade ago I was homeless. I rarely drink alcohol and never do recreational drugs, so what put me on the street? It was uncontrolled mental illness, schizophrenia and poorly-run psychiatric facilities that further traumatized me instead of providing appropriate care that promoted recovery.
When helping the less fortunate, society has the habit of aiming down and that means we often shoot ourselves in the foot. Some cities guarantee a shopping cart for every homeless person who wants one and a place to pitch a tent on the sidewalk.
The “no-hope” standard that the Alaska Legislature and the city are promoting for the homeless is a big part of the problem.