Sunday, January 13, 2013


I don’t get homelessness. How does one get homeless? This week I’m semi-homeless. I’ll be working in Orange County this week and my usual accommodations are somewhat unavailable. This means I’ve been displaced into a hotel. Now it’s like I’m slumming it, and many business travellers are in the same predicament. Making working in Orange County really depends on the free accommodations I usually get from my parents. Since they are between homes, so are my accommodations. Now I probably could contact some old friends in the area and stay at their home. I’m fairly certain, even though I don’t communicate with them often, they’d be willing to let me sleep on a couch and catch a shower in the morning.

This is the part of homelessness I don’t get. Have the homeless burned all of the bridges in their life that family and friends are no longer willing to help out? Or is the free government money outweigh getting a job? When I worked in Downtown San Luis Obispo I took the bus into work most days, mostly because the City of SLO picked up the bus pass (but that’s another post). The bus route I took in the morning picked up many passengers freshly departed from the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter. I was always amazed at the stories I overheard on the bus. It wasn’t about getting unhomeless, but usually was topics that continued on the homelessness. One such story was the person who quit the night shift, and then complaining about not having a job. I’m fairly certain keeping a job long term eventually would have brought a day shift instead. For some reason they couldn’t sacrifice a short to medium term pain to get a long term benefit. Is this one in a series of bad decisions that person made to continue to be homeless? This was at a time the City of San Luis Obispo had a three percent unemployment rate.

I recently read a blog post on the internet indicating that we spend enough money on Christmas to solve the homeless problem. I don’t think they understand the homeless problem if they think only money is needed to solve the issue. Since the Great Society  push we’ve been spending money to solve the homeless issue. If anything this spending has proven that money won’t solve the issue. To solve the problem maybe we need people to make the correct decisions on both sides of the problem, but mainly the homeless. Having the focus on the government’s responsibility to the homeless only deflects the responsibility of those who are homeless in solving their own problems and making the decisions to not become homeless. But then again maybe I’m just wrong.

Are the people who say we need more government spending just making a decision to lessen their responsibility? After all odds are 50% of their friends and family are democrats who support additional homeless funding. It seems to me they are wanting the government to foot the bill rather then they themselves helping out. It is after all a lot cheaper for them to offer a couch, or since houses are getting bigger, a spare room then having the government dole out tax money. I guess it’s easier to blame the GOP for wanting to cut government spending rather then offer up a portion of their living space to solve the issue.

I’m going to head to my hotel room now, get some late night work done tonight so I can have ample time to work 8 hours for a client tomorrow.

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