Lt. Col. Patterson: California Has a Major Problem On Its Hands, and it’s Not the Coronavirus

The more California government spend on the homeless, the more homeless we have.  The latest idea, rent hotel/motel rooms for the homeless and provide them with three meals a day sounds good in the short run.  But, it creates more homeless.  Why work or scrap by—Newsom, Breed and Garcetti will set you up with three meals a day, a nice bed, TV, a private bathroom.  What is not to like?

“California has allocated over $3 billion of California taxpayer funds to solve the homeless issue only to have homelessness grow out of control. Throwing money at administrative agencies that failed to stall the homeless population living in medieval conditions has resulted in a resurgence of diseases long eradicated. 

While the rest of the country has seen a 9% decrease in homelessness, California, the 7th largest economy in the world, has seen its homeless population increase by 13%. Sacramento, alone, has seen an almost 20% increase from 2017-2019The governor’s latest budget proposal to spend over a billion dollars on homelessness will only continue to contribute to the homeless problem, not solve it.”

Like many other issues, government is the problem, not the solution.  It is time to get serious about the homeless, not just make them more comfortable. 

Tents from a homeless encampment line a street in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Some 7,000 volunteers will fan out as part of a three-night effort to count homeless people in most of Los Angeles County. Naomi Goldman, a spokeswoman of the organizer the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, said the goal is to “paint a picture about the state of homelessness.” (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

California Has a Major Problem On Its Hands, and it’s Not the Coronavirus

Lt. Col (ret.) Buzz Patterson, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,  5/2/20   

The global pandemic known as COVID-19 has ravaged the global economy and has taken the lives of thousands. During a crisis where washing your hands can mean the difference between life or death, California has over 134,000 homeless left without shelter or a place to maintain cleanliness. Over the next month, when health experts believe the coronavirus will wane, California will still have a major problem on its hands: homelessness.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has said up to 60,000 homeless residents of the state could contract the coronavirus, potentially overwhelming healthcare providers. This is the biggest safety concern facing California and Newsom is proposing all the wrong answers that could make the problem worse.

California has allocated over $3 billion of California taxpayer funds to solve the homeless issue only to have homelessness grow out of control. Throwing money at administrative agencies that failed to stall the homeless population living in medieval conditions has resulted in a resurgence of diseases long eradicated. 

While the rest of the country has seen a 9% decrease in homelessness, California, the 7th largest economy in the world, has seen its homeless population increase by 13%. Sacramento, alone, has seen an almost 20% increase from 2017-2019The governor’s latest budget proposal to spend over a billion dollars on homelessness will only continue to contribute to the homeless problem, not solve it. 

Treatment First Not Housing

The first step in solving the homeless problem should be treatment first then housing with accountability. Newsom’s latest budget proposal sets aside over $750 million to get individuals off the street and into housing.

What happens when you get people off the streets but they are still abusing drugs and alcohol? In many transition homes aimed at helping people get off the streets, treatment is an option and sobriety is not a requirement. How does California leadership expect someone who is using drugs to maintain a job and not spend rent money on their next score? When the person can’t make rent because they are still using, they’ll be back on the streets again in the never-ending cycle. 

People like to point the finger at the lack of housing, however, housing isn’t the main issue. If the lack of housing caused an increase in homelessness, then we would have seen homeless numbers of epic proportions during the 2008 Great Recession when over 10 million homeowners lost their homes. Every year, thousands of undocumented immigrants make their way to California without a job, an income or a home, yet they are able to find housing

The Bigger Problem

The coronavirus, which has been linked to wet markets in China, has managed to shut down the entire world economy in under two weeks. Imagine if the next virus outbreak was because of urine, feces and HIV needles linked to the homeless in California. 

In San Francisco, the local government hands out over 400,000 needles a month with over 200,000 needles left discarded on the streets. When homeless inject themselves with venom, they can’t think or act for themselves. Many defecate and urinate on sidewalks and in front of businesses causing many to close or move altogether. If a homeless person is HIV positive and they discard their needle on busy American streets, how long will it take for a virus that started

in the U.S to make its way around the world? The homeless problem in California is no longer a state issue, it has become a national issue.

On June 30, 2004, then-Mayor Newsom made a bold promise – In 10 years the worst of San Francisco’s homeless problem would be gone. Over $3 billion dollars and 16 years later, the homeless problem has only gotten worse. Now it’s time for Congress to step in and help.

The Solution No One Wants to Talk About

If California doesn’t change its policies on homelessness, the Golden State could be the epicenter of the next pandemic outbreak. Here are the steps policymakers need to take in order to keep the nation and world safe.

The first step is ending any free needle exchange program across the country. Cities need to be faced with federal funds being withheld if needle programs or safe injection sites are not terminated. Recent surveys found trash on every block of San Francisco along with piles of feces and needles. During the survey, a group of preschool students happened to walk by on their way

to an afternoon field trip to city hall.

States need to start reinforcing quality of life citations to anyone sleeping or passed out on a public sidewalk or in front of a business. Part of the solution has to be the threat of law enforcement actually enforcing laws, arresting you, and putting you in mandatory rehab. If you can not arrest people and get them off the streets you’ll never be able to get them the help they need and into housing.

At the state level, Senator John Moorlach presented bill SB640 which was later killed at the local level. According to SB640, if an individual, as a result of a mental health disorder, is incapable of making informed decisions about their own personal wellbeing, better metrics would be put in place to help those who are simply incapable of helping themselves.

Moorlach stated, “This failure has converted our jails and prisons into makeshift mental institutions and left a high number of seriously mentally ill homeless individuals with no means of treatment or care.”

Now is the time for Congress to act. Federal funds should be made available for states to help homeless who are gravely ill and not able to think for themselves to receive mandatory treatment. This should not be an option but a mandate. If not the rest of the world will be faced with another COVID-19.

The time to act is now, not when the next pandemic is upon us. Let’s be proactive, not reactive.

Buzz Patterson is a retired US. Air Force Lt. Colonel, former Clinton White House Military Aide, and is currently running for Congress in California U.S District 7 (Sacramento County). He will make fighting the homeless pandemic on a national level a priority with real resolutions.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Otis Needleman says

    The CA welfare-corrections industry has a vested interest in seeing the homeless problem go on as long as possible. More job security for them.

  2. Really??? says

    Absolutely correct. When you can live on the streets of Santa Barbara and collect anywhere from $1300 to $2000 a month and not have to have an end date or work for welfare you know the government clones will be there promoting this. they get good salaries and retirement.

  3. I’m on my way, sounds like a pretty good retirement program. Housing, meals, entertainment, and a monthly ‘welfare’ payment. I wonder if Newsome would please include an annual ‘holiday’. Maybe a two week all expense paid trip to Mexico, Cabo, possibly?, or Hawaii, maybe Antigua? South of France can be very nice. One should not have to endure a humdrum life just because one is homeless. It is only ‘fair and equitable’ that I would also have a vacation just as those paying my way are doing.

  4. Great article. Telling it like it is. But, federal funds should not enter into the homeless situation. No reason why a taxpayer in Kansas should subsidize misguided policies in California. California taxpayers need to pay for their choices in leadership.

  5. ExCaliExpat says

    California taxpayers need to band together to,root out corruption endemic in California politics….

    And get rid of union quid pro quo political contributions…

  6. I would love to see someone come up with a comprehensive program 1, 2, 3, 4,…, practical and realistic ideas as to how to attack the homeless issue. Mental health, drugs, crime, etc. It’s not just mental health.

    • The reason a common sense plan is not heard of is because it would end up in court by the ACLU.

      Tough love with an evaluation for each one and work for any benefits going forward. Drug and mental facilities will be needed to take those in most need. Vagrancy and no side walk camping must be enforced.
      The way we got into the problem is the way out. Law and order enforcement is a must.
      Unfortunately those who got us into this homeless mess are still in charge and are not willing to turn it around.
      All goes back to politics and the LEFT.

      At this point the only answer is the unmentionable.
      Shall we pray…

  7. ExCaliExpat? What does that mean? You expatriated then repatriated? Are you here in state to implement your “should” list? Or are you just sidelining? We need all the help we can get because California’s taxpayers aren’t the only California voters, unfortunately. Are you willing to organize? Lt. Col. Patterson is spot on!

  8. All the while clowns like Garcetti continue inviting the world’s homeless population to LA.

  9. Carl M Curtis says

    Feed pigeons, get more pigeons

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