Coming Our Way?

A beauty salon owner in Sacramento has become somewhat of a viral sensation after her rant on the homeless sleeping on the streets, attacking her, her customers, forcing her to clean up human waste, used syringes, dealing with break-ins, the destruction of her property and the police not arresting people for crimes because of the direction of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

She’s had enough and is moving out.

First her original rant:

CBS Sacramento covered the Novak’s story as well:

At the end of the CBS Sacramento video, a man claims that Novak should not be blaming Newsom, essentially saying the homeless are everyone’s problem.

We didn’t realize that “everyone” had issued orders that the police not enforce the laws on the homeless that are applied to everyone else, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Fox and Friends discusses the rant and makes a couple salient points:

It is time that we start to look at the homeless issue in several ways. First, there are homeless people that don’t want to be homeless and want a way out of their situation. With rising costs of housing in Brevard, we may see more people being forced onto the streets. We are all for helping people stand up again. Those who want and need help should get it through good groups like the Brevard Homeless Coalition whose members manage to stretch bucks and supplies more than many groups.

There are those who are homeless by choice. We have to recognize that. There are those who don’t want to live in an organized society or anything and are happy on the streets. Sadly, those people are a drain on the resources of those who want to get off the streets. There is a very large part of us here who don’t think we should enable the choices of those who make the choice to live on the streets.

Then there are the mentally ill and addicts. Once again, we have no issues with helping people, but if you are an addict, get off the drugs. Please don’t tell the rest of the world that they have to support your habit and your choices. Once again, we should not be enabling people that live on the streets who want to get high but don’t want to get off the drugs.

Those with mental issues are a whole different ball game. After a change in the law due to a Supreme Court case, society can no longer put people into a mental health institution unless they are a danger to themselves or others. They too face the choice of getting help, which is in short supply, or living on the streets. The fact of the matter is that getting the mentally ill to see those choices and make the correct choice is difficult and darned near impossible.

What we cannot do is enact policies at the government level that enables the homeless to commit acts that others would be arrested for.

We cannot enact building policies that make the housing situation worse.

Experts agree that for every new job created in an area, four to six new residences must be created. While that doesn’t seem to make sense, it does when you start to look at the number of people that support that one job. You have the need for increase police, fire, EMS services, larger government services (roads, parks, etc.) You have the need for more shops and restaurants and those folks need places to live.

Rental and housing prices are driven by several factors but mostly supply and demand. The more units that are available the lower the prices for rentals and the more people can afford housing.

As an example, the Palm Bay City Council touted a deal with a medical equipment company that would move to the area and create roughly 50 new jobs. The Council was willing to give tax breaks to the company which is something we disagree with, but we weren’t asked.

So now Palm Bay has 50 new jobs coming in and the need for a corresponding 200+ residences.

That’s not happening as every new apartment complex and development is met with scathing opposition. While well intentioned and certainly understandable, do people realize that their opposition to new housing projects add to the homeless problem?

To be honest with you, we didn’t realize that but it does make sense.

Brevard County is going to have to make difficult choices and make them soon.

We are going to have to decide whether we have policies that increase homelessness or decrease it? We have to decide whether we are enabling the homeless by not arresting them for crimes or allowing parties to trespass onto other people’s property. We have to decide whether we want to help those who need and want help, or whether we want to devote time and resources to those who don’t care and like the streets better. We have to decide if we want to increase the availability of homes, or force people onto the streets because of rising rents (and tax / fee increases.)

None of these are easy questions. But right now the homeless situation is manageable, but growing out of hand.

We don’t think anyone wants to become cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Veges, Portland, Seattle, Washington, etc., all of which had well meaning, but ineffective programs that made the homeless problem worse.

There are a lot of great groups out there that literally try to help people off the streets. On the other side, there are those who enable the homeless.

We should support the groups that are doing the real tough work, and shun the enablers.

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