Researchers gave thousands of dollars to homeless people. The results defied stereotypes.

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    • #366576
      sonofspy777
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      A man walking through a Vancouver tent city in March. Researchers in a new study found that homeless people who received direct cash transfers were able to find stable housing faster.

      You’ve heard this refrain before — giving money to homeless people is not the best way to help them because it might be squandered, or spent on harmful habits. But a new Canadian study makes a powerful case to the contrary.

      The study, dubbed “The New Leaf Project,” is an initiative of Foundations for Social Change, a charitable organization based in Vancouver, in partnership with the University of British Columbia.
      Researchers gave 50 recently homeless people a lump sum of 7,500 Canadian dollars (nearly $5,700). They followed the cash recipients’ life over 12-18 months and compared their outcomes to that of a control group who didn’t receive the payment.
      The preliminary findings, which will be peer-reviewed next year, show that those who received cash were able to find stable housing faster, on average. By comparison, those who didn’t receive cash lagged about 12 months behind in securing more permanent housing.

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

    • #366584
      Cold Mountain Trail
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      All these tests of small groups (in this case, 50 people!!) aren’t worth much though, because not enough people involved to drive prices.  It’s like on person won the lottery ($285,000 $US).

      What would help isn’t just free money (though that would help for a bit), but even better: taking down the billionaires and decreasing inequality generally.  Including decreasing the # of non-profits and ‘helping’ organizations that are actually a jobs program for the top 20% and ‘help’ relatively few people in any significant way.

      Think of all the organizations out there involved in giving free school supplies and books to kids, and the # of people involved in getting that help out to the kids.  Think how cheap all that stuff is (relatively speaking).  Then think of the PR value to low wage corporations like WalMart.  Everyone who’s not a psycho finds the cause acceptable.

      But who scores bigger, the corpse that pays the parents low wages so they can’t afford school supplies, or the kids who are the beneficiaries of such ‘generosity’?

      The one thing studies like this do is let readers know that the recipients of assistance don’t immediately blow it on drugs or carnival rides.

    • #366591
      doh1304
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      essentially GMIs work, as long as they’re large enough to be effective. America, otoh, with a non system of inadequate, stigmatizing “welfare”, does nothing but create a dehumanized underclass.

      And I still say a UBI will do nothing but feed our addiction for meaningless consumption. Easy credit has proven that.

    • #366599
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 17,971

      So long as the tenants obey the rules, which are reasonable, they can stay. If they don’t, they’re out.

      I know damned well that just giving money to everybody who is homeless will not end the homeless problem. Well, it’ll help cut down on the excess population of homeless by giving them money to overdose and kill themselves, maybe, but many won’t spend it on housing. Many of them need to be institutionalized in good mental hospitals.

      I know, I’m harassed and accosted by these people almost every day in downtown Cleveland. Most around here need a medical and psychiatric help, not money, and if some of them are given money it will just be stolen from them.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #366603
      doh1304
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      CMT said something important to add to. America has created an entire industry of “poor relief” that requires itself to be inadequate to survive. To respond to CMT’s  reference to school supplies the ultimate beneficiary is WallMart, who gets to sell school supplies at a profit even though the local school system cannot afford them, not the kids and certainly not the parents.

    • #366609
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 17,971

      @doh1304 It’s the WOTC-Work Opportunity Tax Credit-signed into law by Bill Clinton and still very much on the books.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #366612
      HalfCentury Man
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      • Total Posts: 834

      Raise the minimum wage and put in a maximum wage ($17.50 hr/ $5 mil yr). I think a wealth cap would be a good idea as well (100 mil, total wealth).

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

      John F. Kennedy: 13 March 1962.

    • #366631
      chknltl
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      • Total Posts: 1,146

      (Quoted from UTOPIA FOR REALISTS by Rutger Bregman, 2014 updated 2017)

      “London,May 2009- An experiment is underway. It’s subjects: thirteen homeless men. They are veterans of the street…. …some going on forty years.

      Between the police expenses, court costs and social services, these thirteen trouble makers have racked up a bill estimated at £400,000 ($650,000) or more.

      Per year.

      (small break)

      “From now on, these 13 rough sleepers will recieve free money.”

      “They will be recieving £3,000 in spending money and they do not have to do anything in return. How they spend it is up to them.”

      JPR-Put yourself on the board of directors for ‘Broadway’, the aid agency who conducted this experiment.

      Would you have advised for or against it?

      They did go through with the experiment.

      What do you think happened to these 13 men?

      (I need to be gone for a few hours, enough time to let this soak. I will give you the results when I return).

       

    • #366634
      jbnw
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      • Total Posts: 2,787

      She changed her mind one day when she saw the homeless man we’d just given money to come out of a shop with a sandwich.

      Sure, some will – but it’s nice to see that little help meaning someone is less hungry.

    • #366651
      closeupready
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      • Total Posts: 1,676

      7 of them stayed homeless, 5 of them reunited with family, and 1 got a job, home and a entered (or re-entered) the middle class.  So in other words, a little more than half did not see any improvement in their life circumstances, a large minority showed modest improvement, and 1 (or 2) got back on their feet and supported themselves with gainful employment.


      @chknltl

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #366669
      doh1304
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,379

      Being American doesn’t make you automatically stupid.

      BTW I agree with you about mental health, but I happen to know about who started it. In 1981 I was a taxi driver in Waukegan, IL. Our downtown stand was across the street from a VA mental health outpatient clinic. One morning I noticed there was a block long line outside the clinic – Ronald Reagan had ordered the clinic – all clinics – closed without warning. The line of patients slowly dwindled, it took about a week, and the patients disappeared onto the streets – in Illinois in January. This was Reagan’s first official act as President.

    • #366736
      JonLP
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      • Total Posts: 2,673

      @Ohiobarbarian

      I receive VA disability which is enough to live on and I don’t have any bad habits unless you count cannabis.

      I have PTSD, major depressive disorder, psychosis (these are combat related injuries) and I don’t need to be institutionalized. You only do if you’re threat to yourself or others, outpatient treatment works fine for most people.

      Let me tell you money helps and it improved my situation significantly especially considering I’m able to live comfortably during a pandemic — I would not want to be homeless now..

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

    • #366750
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 17,971

      Just saying that many of the homeless I see everyday have mental illnesses way worse than PTSD or depression. I don’t really know what is meant by psychosis. I do know paranoia, paranoid-schizophrenia, and some of the other common severe mental illnesses when I see them.

      No one can tell me any different because I’ve lived with people like that who refused treatment of any kind. The only way to treat them is institutionalization, and a lot of them wouldn’t turn their lives around just because they got 2 grand a month. It wouldn’t bother me if they did; just saying that’s not enough.

      People like you wanted to help yourselves, so that money would work in your case. Others don’t think anything’s wrong with them, but they’re sick. So are Donald Trump and Michelle Obama, but that’s another story.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #366754
      JonLP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,673

      It could also manifest into delusions. It is like schizophrenia but not as constant. I take risperidone for that.

      Trust me you don’t want to go through that. If untreated the paranoia can prevent you from seeking treatment. The Soviet Union locking up political prisoners for mental health reasons was a big source of that for me.

      —-

      There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union,[1] based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem.[2] It was called “psychopathological mechanisms” of dissent.[3]

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

      I’ll put it like this. Give a homeless person $20 they might spend it on alcohol or drugs. Give someone a monthly income they will pay rent. The #1 cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing.

      When I started receiving disability all aspects of my life improved.

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

    • #366755
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 17,971

      @jonlp Just saying some people need a lot more than that, and that institutionalization doesn’t have to be like Joe Stalin’s version or that found in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Unless it’s OK just to let them…exist, and to exploit others because they get a kick out of manipulating them.

      You know, like our most powerful politicians get a kick out of all that power and authority. Megalomania and sociopathy are  other forms of mental illness, you know, and it’s rewarded by capitalism. Or, in Stalin’s case, by sheer accumulation of power through terror.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #366759
      Cold Mountain Trail
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,353

      @johnlp

      and living on the streets (in cold/heat/rain/danger, harrassed by cops and others and dependent on whatever the universe throws up) will not do much for *anyone’s* mental health, least of all those who have never experienced it but presume to know *all* about it, including how ‘mentally ill’ & ‘drug addicted’ everyone who lives on the street is.

      Money & a place to live actually do work miracles for one’s mental health.  and its something everyone used to have (barring war) before capitalism.  no surprise that ‘mental illness’ keeps growing in this, the #1 capitalist country in the world.

      “You’re not alone” a commercial says as it offers yet another Big Pharma product with a ridiculous name.  Because on the streets you *are* alone unless you’re very lucky.  Fear & abuse (+ cold, hunger, thirst, pain) breeds paranoia.

      Bullshit on all that.

      Looking forward to hearing about the results, @chknltl

    • #366765
      chknltl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,146

      Quoted from UTOPIA FOR REALISTS by Rutger Bregman.

      “A year and a half after the experiment began, seven pf the 13 rough sleepers had a roof over their heads.

      Two more were about to move into their own apartments.

      All thirteen had taken critical steps toward solvency and personal growth.”

      (a couple pragraphs later)

      “After decades of fruitless pushing, pulling, pampering, penalizing, prosecuting and protecting, nine notorious vagrants had finally been brought in from the streets.

      The costs?

      Some £50,000 a year, including the social workers’ wages.

      In other words, not only did the project help thirteen people, it cut costs considerably.”

      edited in attn @closeupready

      and attn @johnlp

       

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