Campaign For America’s Future: Opinion: Terrance Heath: Utah Is Ending Homelessness By Giving People Homes
I gotta admit, the Utah approach to deal with homelessness in this country is a hell of a lot better than locking these people up who really do not pose any real threats to anybody away in jail. Or waiting for them to come down with some serious illness and then they end up in the emergency room. This wouldn’t be my approach because it still costs taxpayers in Utah or anywhere else actually a hell of a lot of money to simply give away free housing even if it is cheaper than jails or hospitals.
What I would like to see nationally and what some big cities are already doing, like Sacramento and San Antonio, is to create public/private partnerships that create life building centers. For lack of a better term designed to bring people off of the street into these centers. Where they would get a short-term studio apartment or motel room inside of the center. Where they would live short-term as they are getting the healthcare that they need. As well as vocational skills and help finding a job all provided by the center they are staying at. And then would leave the center with a good job and their own apartment and become self-sufficient.
The beauty of the life building center approach is that we wouldn’t need government really at any level to run it. So you are really not talking about needing new tax revenue to pay for this. Because the money people at these centers would need to stay there as they are building their own lives, could be paid for out of current public assistance budgets. Medicaid, Welfare Insurance, Public Housing, Food Assistance, educational grants. That could go to tenants at these centers to pay for their stays. As well as you could put these people to work at these centers so they could earn their own keep.