Photo by Mihály Köles
Get used to it.
The homeless are a featured product of how our society is built, not a bug.
Of late, I've been hearing more and more complaints about the homeless that are disrupting/bothering the life of people just trying to live/grow/survive. This isn't specific to one area of the US, I hear this from people who live all across the nation.
These complaints aren't from people with bad intentions, bad thoughts, or bad "political views" towards the homeless (er, mostly) they just are the people that actually interact with some of the most desperate of our society. A lack of familiarity, the variety of situations, and some legitimate worries of safety are rooted in their statements. But, they better get used to it. The homeless aren't going anywhere until we actively decide to do something about it.
We have a society that values innovation, privatizes emergency services, limits access to fundamental skills that allow one to participate in our markets, and avoids an equality of enforcement at almost all cost. The larger and more complex the economy, the more this puts a higher bar of training and knowledge needed for people to participate in society.
Generation over generation this has huge compounding economic effects.
Don't invest education with emerging technologies?
Poor schooling and retraining?
Overemphasis and overleveraging on personal debt?
Does a sizable portion of the economy work multiple jobs to survive?
Looks like you're going to be importing all your talent to support your evolving industries. While not specifically problematic, this means that the majority of the wealth being created in new markets isn't by the citizens of that market. This (along with how our financial system is set up) exacerbates wealth gaps. There's no real outcome that doesn't, it's designed that way.
It's like not training a bunch of kids then being surprised they aren't as good in the wild as the Boy Scouts. I'll think of a better analogy later, you get my point.
(Sidenote: When the rents are too damn high and pushing out the locals it's considered an area crisis that demands more affordable housing and people's complaints are considered reasonable. When it's just happening to a "poor" area they call it gentrification that's necessary for development. But, that's a nuanced convo for another time)
This setup makes the probable exacerbation of homelessness almost inevitable, especially in growing economies.
Right now, as the job market continues it's 9+year rise, 40% of American's still can't survive a $450 emergency. The vast gains we are making in economic growth aren't building a safety net for when we are over-leveraged. This is a flawed design.
The inevitable economic downturn because of our constant removal of financial safety nets is going to hit American's hard. Even if you ignore that it's the morally right thing to do, providing societal infrastructure as a base that allows more people to participate in our markets is the financially smart thing to do.
Until we decide that feeding failed economic ideologies is less important than investing in a stable future, homelessness is going to be a constant. Since that isn't super likely, well..........get used to it.