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Is Paying to Bus Out the Homeless a Good Use Of Taxes?

I found the entire premise of this article to be very interesting. That they took such care in their research is laudable. There is a great deal of money spent on such programs. Millions and millions each year in taxpayer money. Is this a good use of such money? Who benefits? What do you think, if anything, should be done about the homeless when it comes to government?

Homeless man on bus

This is how it begins:

“Cities have been offering homeless people free bus tickets to relocate elsewhere for at least three decades. In recent years, homeless relocation programs have become more common, sprouting up in new cities across the country and costing the public millions of dollars.

But until now there has never been a systematic, nationwide assessment of the consequences. Where are these people being moved to? What impact are these programs having on the cities that send and the cities that receive them? And what happens to these homeless people after they reach their destination?

In an 18-month investigation, the Guardian has conducted the first detailed analysis of America’s homeless relocation programs, compiling a database of around 34,240 journeys and analyzing their effect on cities and people.”

The conclusion, as I see it, was rather to be expected. A large majority end up in places that are either warm, or offer a larger array of welfare programs for the homeless.

“A count earlier this year found half a million homeless people on one night in America. The problem is most severe in the west, where rates of homelessness are skyrocketing in a number of major cities, and where states like California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have some of the highest rates of per capita homelessness.”

Another interesting map in the article shows that most pass through America’s heartland on their way to someplace else with a huge concentration in Oregon, California, New York, and Florida. Phoenix and Denver were also high on the list. Phoenix, of course, is warm, and Denver, though not warm, does offer legal marijuana which, in my opinion is a factor in its popularity. It’s interesting to note that New York was one of the first places to begin this program of paying for a ticket out, but they end up being a destination anyway since other places have the same program. Leave New York, head to California, leave California, head to New York.

Source: Bussed out: how America moves thousands of homeless people around the country | US news | The Guardian

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