I was in the SHIPS homeless program when I met Hollis William, who had worked at AgraPac for twenty years. Then, the plant closed – and he became homeless. When I found Hollis ten years later he was homeless and collecting can in front of Safeway. I told him I would help him, as I was helped, which meant following all the rules and jumping through all the hoops. He balked. I told him he was in Homeless Survival Mode – and that would keep him in the street! Mr. H was able to grasp this idea – because I spoke from experience! I was applying a Twelve Step Program that I will now apply to every politician running for office, and every evangelical do-gooder. Jesus came to own the disenfranchised in THE PUBLIC SQUARE AND MARKET that he visited 166 times. He made them – INCLUSIVE! He owned them!
Becoming homeless is to – become insane! The housed understand there is INASNITY at play. Taking away the shame – is the first step.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (homelessness) — that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity – and permanent residency.
(CNN)An earthquake is building in Tuesday’s California elections that could rattle the political landscape from coast to coast.
In Los Angeles and San Francisco, two of the nation’s most liberal large cities, voters are poised to send stinging messages of discontent over mounting public disorder, as measured in both upticks in certain kinds of crime and pervasive homelessness.
That dissatisfaction could translate into the recall of San Francisco’s left-leaning district attorney, Chesa Boudin, likely by a resounding margin, and a strong showing in the Los Angeles mayoral primary by Rick Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer and former Republican who has emerged as the leading alternative in the race to Democratic US Rep. Karen Bass, once considered the front-runner.
Linking both these contests — as well as several Los Angeles City Council races and an ongoing effort to recall George Gascon, Los Angeles County’s left-leaning district attorney — is a widespread sense among voters in both cities that local government is failing at its most basic responsibility: to ensure public safety and order. It’s a sentiment similar to the anxiety over urban disarray that inspired the “broken windows” policing theory during the 1980s, and contributed to the election of Republican Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Richard Riordan in New York and Los Angeles, respectively, amid the cascading violence of the crack epidemic in the early 1990s.
In a year in which every vote – and every voter – is under scrutiny, many homeless people will have a very hard time casting their ballots.
That’s the conclusion from a review of how state voting laws, regulations and practices affect homeless people conducted by Kristian Berhost, Robert Nordahl, Samantha Abelove and Leana Mason, four master’s of public administration graduate students I supervised at the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy.
This situation is, in part, a legacy of the country’s original requirement that to be eligible to vote, a person had to be a white male landowner. That rule has changed over the years to include women, people of color, renters and people with mortgages. But the idea remains that a person must have a residence, a sustained presence in a particular community to be allowed to vote.
That concept was reinforced by the 2002 Help America Vote Act. Under that legislation, many states now ask would-be voters for a mailing address; proof of rent, homeownership or utility service at an address; or evidence of having lived in the community for a period of time. People who are homeless have trouble meeting these demands.
Who are homeless voters?
My students and I found that there are few statistics about homeless voters. Statistics that do exist are kept by groups who advocate for the rights of homeless people. The best available data show how few homeless people vote: In 2008, about 60% of the U.S. homeless population was a U.S. citizen 18 or over and therefore generally eligible to vote, but only one in three was registered.
In 2012, only about 10% of homeless people actually voted. By comparison, 54% of the country’s voting-age population voted that year, roughly the same share as cast ballots in the most recent presidential election, in 2016.
Many homeless people are already disadvantaged in American society. In the U.S., homeless people are more likely than their fellow citizens who have homes to have been diagnosed with a mental illness and to have been incarcerated in the past. An estimated two in five homeless people have a disability.
Homeless people are also more likely to be nonwhite – with people of Native American and Pacific Islander descent making up a far larger share of the homeless population than they do of the U.S. as a whole.
By the end of 2020, there may be many more homeless Americans than there were at the end of 2019: One estimate indicates massive unemployment as a result of the pandemic could boost homelessness by 40% to 45%.