Progressive policies aimed at addressing urban homelessness have failed to reduce street sleeping or to help the unhoused return to self-sufficiency. We need new strategies that emphasize mental health treatment, drug and alcohol rehab, and affordable shelter. Cities need to encourage and mandate treatment for those who can’t help themselves. These alternate approaches are required to serve the homeless, local businesses, taxpayers, and public safety.
HOMELESSNESS SERVICES: Permitting street camping increases violence and deprives cities of a valuable tool to encourage homeless people to engage with treatment. Preventing street homelessness by banning street camping, instituting pay-for-performance contracts, reforming mental health admission criteria, and providing affordable shelter and service alternatives will save money, improve communities, and help the homeless get back on their feet.