h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.
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Homelessness is pretty much everywhere it seems these
days. The reason given is often either due to the
character of the homeless or their mental state.
However mental health issue should not be an excuse to
being homeless really... since it means the person
has no self agency and needs to
be in specialized care.
The current system we have rewards mentally ill
homeless who are violent, since that means they will go
to jail away from street. While those who are not
violent are left to suffer.
As for the current system of begging. It seems rather
inefficient and very degrading for those stuck in that
I'm just wondering if we should just ban begging all
together, and just give all homeless individuals a good
amount of money each day with no strings attached (e.g.
If you got the card, you cannot beg. You can beg
only if you don't have the card). It's not as if we could
follow the money after we donate to a beggars, but
we can certainly follow the money if it was a government
agency tasked with ensuring that the homeless do
have the financial choice and freedom to make economic
decision that may get them out of trouble (e.g.
dry cleaning, transport, for work). It's kind of libertarian
in some sense, but also kind of socialistic in
Plus, if homeless have the ability to spend better in a
more consistent manner, then naturally sellers will
start adapting their services to making it easier for
homeless users to use.
Lastly, by centralizing their income to a basic income
scheme, rather than a distributed source like
begging. Researcher, sociologist, and welfare workers
will have another source of data to tap into, in terms
of understanding the homeless spending patterns. As for
the homeless, well their community case worker
will have a better individualized report for a more one-
to-one care. For many who are responsible homeless
and not mentally ill, then this wont matter as much. But
for those who needs help, this data will get them
better care. (Think of it as a filter that allows us to focus
specialist health worker's energy on those who really
needs it, thus cutting cost overall)
Well that's how I see it. But only issue is I don't know
where to start. It's not a matter if we can do it,
because homelessness to me is a man made situation,
but rather it is a matter of political/societal will.
As the sayings goes, it is easier to judge others, than to
Which in this case, its easier for us
to judge the homeless, but harder to judge ourselves as
A similar experiment
[the porpoise, Dec 02 2014]
Prepaid Credit Cards With Structured Income Source
[mofosyne, Dec 02 2014]
NEW SMARTPHONE APP PUTS WELFARE ASSISTANCE IN THE HANDS OF AUSTRALIAS HOMELESS
On the issue of people needing needing more than money alone to get out of the rut, then combining an app that lets users know of what service is available could be a start. [mofosyne, Dec 04 2014]
||A reporter tried an experiment like this [link]. Your heart's in the right place [+].
||Yea, with such system, the trick is really to make it non-
limited and steady and long term.
||The idea is to remove the paralysing uncertainty of
running out of money, and to give people valuable mental
energy to focus on being themselves and using their own
intelligence to get themselves out of a rut (Or at least to
be not in an expensive pit of despair).
||And if they cannot? Well then this system makes it easier to see those kinds of people, and
thus get them the help that they need.
||This is not the solution, it's a band aid. But better than a
||I like the social issue of homelessness. Like most things you can put it on a line. Homeless on one end is not having a home to live in. On the other end it could be not having a national identity. The two things can be connected for example if certain aspects of a national identity may be connected with being inside a home. Double exemplary everything people justify by saying "that's the way we do things here and if you don't like it you can leave". So without even broaching the hypothesis of mental illness, we can say that homelessness is connected to national, state and industrial interests by virtue of these related to having a home. Of course there are also social, religious, ethnic values and things like that which are regulatory. This is an understood phenomena without the hypothesis of mental illness, that rebellion and dysfunction are by degrees of analogy simultaneous. The Calvinist viewpoint about regulation and the home has been the dominant treatment of irregular individuals since psychological reforms in the mid nineteen-seventies, this has even crossed into the domain of hallucination and analogy with the hypothetically mentally ill "carrying a weight" of medication. This was in the wake of revolutionary activities to liberate irrational men from psychiatric persecution from the psychological warfare of the 1940s. This was done in the same respect of other positivist social cleansings at the time of disorderly people that did not correspond to the social ethos. That a positivism can act insidiously even to the extent of making the sociological phenomenon that it propagates the diagnostic tiers for protecting national and state interests is absurd.
||If this isn't a universal citizen's income there will be the usual taper traps. E.g get a tiny council flat, lose your allowance card, run out of money, back on the streets.
||pocmloc- yea, everything seems to point towards "universal
income" no matter I much I try to skin the cat. Maybe I'm
just not imaginative yet, but seems like that concept is
really the only way forward that makes empirical sense.
||At the very least, this idea might prompt people to explore
something like your idea of "universal citizen's income"
||You know, this exact feature is baked into many modern economies; though (in the case with which I am most familiar) the target group is not the homeless per se, but those with no other source of income (the unemployed, elderly and disabled). Most of your "hypothetical" benefits are found to in fact occur: the functional but otherwise homeless are afforded the opportunity to find, and keep, shelter. The granularity of the payment schedule is fortnightly rather than daily, but this is a change of degree and not kind.
||Modern democratic economies are rather clever that way. Have you considered visiting one?
||Next up: Greeting cards for the homeless...
||'Sorry you're out on the street! I hope this card perks you up today as you seek basic shelter! May God, or your choice of supernatural being or otherwise guiding voice in your head keep you safe!'
||What today is the remnants of the old Food Stamp program began life as the government buying farm surpluses, packaging it and distributing it via centers that you went to for pickup.
||Then the gov printed their own food currency and handed that out instead via the mail.
||Now debit cards good for food stuffs and junk calories are provided to the citizens and recharged as per rules of the day.
||Not that far from what the idea describes.
||BunsenHoneydew, wow, long, long, time no see.
||There were attempts to give food vouchers instead of money, but in some places, some homeless said they had no trouble finding food. Any replacement for real help should probably address underlying, longterm issues. If, for example, an aluminum foil hat makes them feel safe, give them some. Or a studio for two weeks, where they can decide if they want to find a way to stay there permanently.
|| 4and20 - and with money, they can do all these
automagically. Unless they are truly mentally stuffed
beyond repair, then the spending habits will show for
itself (especially if you use algorithms to detect these
things, and to automatically send specialist care workers
||It takes a massive amount of bureaucracy/energy to work
out specifically what somebody wants and to give it to
them. But it take near zero effort to just give them the
financial freedom to work it out themselves. Plus it's
paternalistic, and I hate raising kids.
||If access to these services are still hard even with some
consistent income, then that's where subsidies come into
play. But of course ideally, we would all switch everyone
to "universal citizen's income" to avoid the taper trap.
||I sort of agree, although I suspect the majority of homeless need more help than money alone. I don't see anyone giving them several months of independent wealth, so if the help is going to be contigent, I'd imagine a certain number would prefer somewhere private to live short term, rather than a debit card which tracks them and sends specialists on their trail. But this is theoretical without talking to at least a few homeless people, which I've done a few times but not enough.
||If they get a private lodging, then what do they do about
food? Go out and beg for more money in the streets? I
would rather they spend time actually doing something
useful, like studying, socializing, or looking for a job.
||And with all the chronic underfunding of public housing
because of NIMBY, there is not going to be enough
housing anyway in the government, compared to the
||At least with private sector housing, you'll see
entrepreneurs hop on the chance to build pod hotels.
Which will incidentally mean that you'll get a mix of
people using it, like travelling businessmen, students,
etc... all who could be potential networks for homeless
living in private sector pod hotels to interact with (and
potentially get that leg up into a real job/gig/startups).
||This is a much different social dynamic, than these same
businessmen/students/etc... talking or tossing a coin at
these homeless panhandling on the street. The first
example is people meeting as social equals, the second
example (panhandling) is of a person of two different
status. Yes you do get the occasional people sitting down
with panhandlers and actually getting the homeless a job,
but it's a rare occurrence.
||Our current model of shoving people into what is
essentially ghettos, is only going to create an isolating
culture of us vs them. Totally unnecessary. Let them
participate in our main society, as equals etc...
||Anyhow, I agree with you that we really do need more
test. The above are just my rational on why we need to
investigate if this approach works.