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San Francisco to Build 250 Modular Housing Units for Homeless in SoMa (cbslocal.com)
18 points by rajnathani 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

It doesn't say how much this actually cost but, as a taxpayer, I'm happy to see this development. One can only hope for more of this plus a combination of services of those that actually need the help. I think SF is far more complicated than other cities and, for once, would love to see money going into the root of the problem instead of simple finger pointing from both sides of the aisle without any action.

It's always difficult to come to an opinion on things like this. Ostensibly it seems like an incredibly humane and benevolent thing to do. On the other hand is this how "Sanctuary Districts" [1] begin? It certainly answers the problem of individuals being homeless, but I wonder if it might disincentivize answering the question of how they became homeless?

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_Tense_%28Star_Trek:_Deep_...

>I wonder if it might disincentivize answering the question of how they became homeless?

If there is good quality safety net in place may be it wouldn't matter why people may become homeless because they wouldn't as they would always have a roof over their head. May be providing good quality safety net is much more efficient [and humane] way to solve homelessness than trying to address original causes ? Notes : 1. Not that i'm against addressing the original causes, it is just that all the history so far hasn't provided for much hopes of success here. 2. In no way though i think 250 units is a good quality safety net by itself, at best it is just a humble beginning, though a beginning in the right direction. I think more along the lines of good no-questions asked welfare with guaranteed minimal, yet fully compliant/acceptable housing.

I completely agree with you about the critical importance of a social safety net, and is a big part of the reason I'm an advocate for things like a universal basic income. However, I think ideas this are much less likely to succeed. The first thing is that, as you mention, 250 units isn't even scratching the surface of tackling the problem. It will need to be expanded substantially. And now we have two possible outcomes. These areas turn into slums, or they don't turn into slums.

The case where they do turn into slums, perhaps in the longrun not all that different than the favelas of Brazil, is obviously undesirable. But it goes further than that. This is going to lead to a desire to segregate these areas from the rest of the city. At the most extreme you add an employment office to help people get back on their feet, fence the region off to keep things a bit more 'controlled' and you have created Sanctuary Cities in all but name.

The second alternative is that the areas don't become slums. They become decent places to live. Plenty of people are actually able to use these places, and the implicit facilities (mental counseling, job programs, substance abuse programs, etc) to get back on their feet again. This sounds incredible, but what about how the rest of society will view them? For the homeless and otherwise disenfranchised these cities would be a small lifeboat in an otherwise endless sea. The desire to get in is not going to bring out the best in people. And even for people who are getting by in 'normal' society. Many people today struggle to make ends meet paying $xxxx a month to live in glorified closets. Many are not going to be happy to see that their tax dollars are going to let these people live comfortably completely for free. Somebody in this very thread has already pondered if he would be allowed to live there with a well paying job.

I think ultimately the goal should be to focus on fair programs. Means testing is what I think is causing the fundamental breakdown of support for a social safety net. When ever more people in the US are not living especially well, unfair treatment condemns social programs to being contentious and divisive. So in this case, what of having large scale coffin type 'hotels.' They would be free of charge and the square of the hotel would offer various facilities including a clinic, mental health facilities, job facilities, etc. But they would be open to all. The question is how big would these things need to be before an equilibrium is reached -- though I suspect this is what you were alluding to, in rather fewer words!

I wonder if a person with a well paying job would be allowed to live there. I, for one, would love to be in a cheap place for stay

No, as the headline says: this is housing for the homeless. If that's a problem for you, just verbalize it and you'll see how that sounds.

I for one would love to be able to live in the city affordably. I currently commute from Oakland and pay through the nose for the privilege.

I don't think he/she was implying they wanted to pay to live in housing for the homeless. Rather, that modular housing is an attractively affordable alternative to regular housing.

I don't even

Good for San Francisco. They've got an overpopulation of wealth and poverty, so it makes sense to use local taxes to provide for the disadvantaged.

More cities should follow this model. Wealth balancing should be a local action.

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