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Homeless update: Northern California

Robert Urbanek

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I recently attended two small discussion groups at a Vacaville senior center, which included presentations and comments by social workers and others who had personal relationships with the homeless. Some perspectives and data:

There are about 150 people living on the streets in Vacaville but nearly 2,000 in neighboring Fairfield, which is only slightly larger in population.

Some of the homeless do not want to return to the complexities and responsibilities of conventional life and see their life on the streets as a permanent camping trip. Such people, though in smaller numbers, have always been present in society, e.g., hobos and tramps. Some refuse to go to homeless shelters because they don’t want to follow the rules there.

Heroin and fentanyl have replaced meth as the drugs of choice among the Vacaville homeless.

About 80 percent of the homeless are mentally ill and/or have substance abuse issues. Only 20 percent are homeless solely because of financial issues and that group includes persons released from prison.

The director of Opportunity House said her group helps about 200 people each year in a highly disciplined living environment, where residents learn social skills and how to save money. They conduct random drug screening, which makes them ineligible for federal funding. Politicians at various levels put a priority on getting people off the streets even if they continue using drugs in housing.

People seem willing to accept a strictly run homeless boarding house in a suburban neighborhood.

The director said that the homeless people she encounters are largely not transient; they have lived in Vacaville for several years.

There is a shortage of homeless services for single men because many people believe they are troublemakers and will harass the women. However, the director noted that it is often the insecure homeless women who are the “aggressors.” They will cling to and give themselves to any man at a shelter who is “getting his act together.”
 

rightnow909

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I recently attended two small discussion groups at a Vacaville senior center, which included presentations and comments by social workers and others who had personal relationships with the homeless. Some perspectives and data:

There are about 150 people living on the streets in Vacaville but nearly 2,000 in neighboring Fairfield, which is only slightly larger in population.

Some of the homeless do not want to return to the complexities and responsibilities of conventional life and see their life on the streets as a permanent camping trip. Such people, though in smaller numbers, have always been present in society, e.g., hobos and tramps. Some refuse to go to homeless shelters because they don’t want to follow the rules there.
I couldn't read all this bc I stopped @ something that does not at all appear to be true

only 20% are homeless bc of financial issues? I went to a shelter in a blue state once and asked the office person who had been there something like 20 years and she said that it not drugs and other things that made most people homeless. For one, it was the STUPID policies of (my words, not hers) gummit people during the shutdown over the overblown virus. The flu kills more than the covid but that didn't stop the Dims from going berserk and punishing... well, all those who voted for Trump, mostly

yeh, I don't know where youre getting your info... I don't see a source sited

u must be a dimrat
 

EvilCat Breath

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I was raised by two adults addicted to homelessness. My mother and stepfather lived "on the road". In those days hitchhiking was safe so we mostly hitchhiked. We crawled into boxcars sometimes and rode the rails with an assortment of hollow-eyed men who seldom spoke. My mother said they came home from world War II and had nowhere to go.

They loved the lifestyle that they called perfect freedom. No bills, no rent day, no boss to brown nose. My folks didn't drink, didn't use drugs. They just didn't want a home. They wanted the road.

It was agony for me. With little to eat and no shelter I was sick much of the time. My folks didn't trust doctors. Doctors would make a case just to get money. Dentists too. Even my baby teeth abcessed. I had lice, worms and bleeding lesions from impetigo.

Times changed and they had to give up the way. My mother said those were the best days of her life. December 14, 1996 my dad, in his 70s, announced he was hitting the road. He hobbled out with his cane. I never saw him again.

Don't try to help homeless people. They aren't worth it and don't want your help anyway. We had many people try to help us. All they did was help us stay homeless longer. They are the way they are because it is a choice they make. Whether drugs, drink, mental illness or an addiction to the idea of freedom. Leave them be. Let them die in the streets.
 

NewsVine_Mariyam

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I recently attended two small discussion groups at a Vacaville senior center, which included presentations and comments by social workers and others who had personal relationships with the homeless. Some perspectives and data:

There are about 150 people living on the streets in Vacaville but nearly 2,000 in neighboring Fairfield, which is only slightly larger in population.

Some of the homeless do not want to return to the complexities and responsibilities of conventional life and see their life on the streets as a permanent camping trip. Such people, though in smaller numbers, have always been present in society, e.g., hobos and tramps. Some refuse to go to homeless shelters because they don’t want to follow the rules there.

Heroin and fentanyl have replaced meth as the drugs of choice among the Vacaville homeless.

About 80 percent of the homeless are mentally ill and/or have substance abuse issues. Only 20 percent are homeless solely because of financial issues and that group includes persons released from prison.

The director of Opportunity House said her group helps about 200 people each year in a highly disciplined living environment, where residents learn social skills and how to save money. They conduct random drug screening, which makes them ineligible for federal funding. Politicians at various levels put a priority on getting people off the streets even if they continue using drugs in housing.

People seem willing to accept a strictly run homeless boarding house in a suburban neighborhood.

The director said that the homeless people she encounters are largely not transient; they have lived in Vacaville for several years.

There is a shortage of homeless services for single men because many people believe they are troublemakers and will harass the women. However, the director noted that it is often the insecure homeless women who are the “aggressors.” They will cling to and give themselves to any man at a shelter who is “getting his act together.”
My understanding is that the women often will partner up with the men because they're seeking or need protection.
Some of the homeless do not want to return to the complexities and responsibilities of conventional life and see their life on the streets as a permanent camping trip. Such people, though in smaller numbers, have always been present in society, e.g., hobos and tramps. Some refuse to go to homeless shelters because they don’t want to follow the rules there.
My brother & I were discussing this opinion recently. And from what we've been able to ascertain it appears to be accurate. The problem of the expanding homeless crisis, at least in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, long predated the pandemic. It had become such a large problem that one of the local news stations did a documentary on it. Apparently there is a part 2 & 3 as well:
 

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