From the Homeless Corner: In This Week’s Column, Dr. Bob, a former Marine, Argues That Our Expanding Military Adds to Our Economic Decline

Robert cox bob coxRobert Cox: I’m not just a squishy liberal. I’m an ex-marine, a retired educator with a Ph.D. in philosophy and literature, a senior activist with a nice little government stipend, which gives me the freedom to do the important work of a citizen. I have no agenda beyond a desire to reduce the suffering caused by homelessness. I believe we should spend more time on healing our communities, and less time on figuring out how to take them back. Law enforcement has its place, but it’s not the solution. Ask any cop.

Robert CoxBased on the number of positive responses to the last week’s column, I will be making a weekly contribution to these pages. I intend to continue sharing what I’m learning about the causes for the accelerating number of homeless people, and I will be reporting on efforts underway to alleviate suffering.

First, the big picture: Any honest appraisal of the present homeless crisis in Humboldt County, and across the country, it seems to me, must include our domestic economic decline and its connection to our expanding imperial and military presence abroad. According to the distinguished historian Chalmers Johnson, it will be increasingly difficult for the United States to sustain both democracy at home and imperialism abroad. Based on a careful reading of the rise and fall of past empires, Chalmers lays out the road map that brought us to the state of affairs. In 2010, two years after the publication of Nemesis, the Last Days of the American Republic, Chalmers writes:

“In Nemesis I have tried to present historical, political, economic, and philosophical evidence of where our current behavior is likely to lead. Specifically, I believe that to maintain our empire abroad requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and in the end produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent. The founders of our nation understood this well and tried to create a form of government – a republic – that would prevent this from occurring. But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency. We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play – isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy. Nemesis stalks our life as a free nation.”

I don’t know about you, but I find the rise of homelessness and the crackdown by police chilling. Harsher measures, which are being encouraged by those who want to further criminalize homelessness and see it as a law enforcement issue, will only promote worse behavior, and justify even more punitive measures, leading to more lawlessness and incarceration. Given that it costs is at least $50,000 to house a person in jail for a year, a growing number of municipalities are finding that housing-first is a much cheaper option. At the ridiculous extreme there’s the ex-marine who died on the streets of Reno: before he passed he managed somehow to run up a million dollars in medical and drug treatment costs. Therefore, to many it’s becoming clear that homelessness is just the tip of the iceberg; not only is it expensive, it’s undermining our democracy. Logically, then, until we address the underlying causes of homelessness and find ways to create a more sustainable economy, housing the homeless appears to be a more affordable, safer short-term solution. Housing-first programs around the country report that they are saving a ton of money, while reducing suffering and harm.

So within the context of some understanding of how our diminishing resources for resolving domestic conflicts, its connection to the costs of engaging in what has become a continuous war, and the maintenance of over 700 military operations around the world, I decided to fork over the $100 registration fee to attend a one-day conference hosted by Northern California Nonprofits on the 5th of December. Given the title, “Confluences, a coming or flowing together, meeting or gathering at one point,” I wasn’t disappointed.

As a self-appointed community health advocate with a special interest in understanding the confluences that drive the homelessness crisis, in the hope of raising our awareness, so we’re in a better position to explore ways to recover from the human and environmental degradation we see everywhere, the organizers’ intent was right on: “We hope you’ll have meaningful opportunities to network as organizations…; gain tools for effectively doing your work; enhance your systems of support; and have important conversations about how to strengthen your communities.”

I actually spent many years in Humboldt and Del Norte counties in collaborations that resulted in, for example, the creation of the John Muir Charter School, which now serves 3,000 students working for service and conservation corps across California; a College of the Redwoods’ Certificate in Applied Environmental Technology in partnership with just about every natural resource conservation steward in the region, NPS, USFS, State Parks, Fish and Game, the Redwood Action Agency, Rural Human Services, CDF, Cal Trans, etc.; a comprehensive drug and alcohol program in partnership with Del Norte County and the California Wellness Foundation; and, at the old California Conservation Corps’ camp at the mouth of the Klamath River, we managed to hire a full-time career counselor through Rural Human Services with funding from the federal Workforce Investment Act, which made it possible to achieve a fully integrated program redesigned to “graduate environmentally literate citizens who know how to get things done”.

So, the conference for me was mainly about reconnecting with the kind of people who use a collaborative process every day to provide critical services in just about every quarter of our community. I’m an example of how it works: my career demonstrates the impact and importance of nonprofits right here on the north coast. Over my career, the partnerships with non-profits, with their resourceful adaptability and can-do spirit, determined the difference between success and failure of the work that mattered most.

For our purposes here, when I reflect on how successful collaborations work, the breakout session I attended in the afternoon laid out a model similar to the one I learned from MIT instructors in the early 90s. Here’s how it typically works: a group of people come together who share a common interest in or responsibility for meeting a particular need or serving a defined population, children, seniors, the mentally ill, young adults, battered women, etc. Let’s say a group of government employees and people from various non-profits meet because they share an interest in reducing homelessness. After a lively brain-storming session, they craft a shared intention statement: “There will be a pillow for every head in places that are suitable and safe for each individual within a diverse population made up of people and subgroups with very different needs and requirements”. I would expect our group to draft a set of guiding principles to insure ordered grouping based on similarities and differences around age, gender, mental health and physical health, level of needed support, security needs, and so on.

Planning within a group typically moves to a consideration of current reality after establishing a shared vision or intention. So now the group can see what current reality looks like compared to what the group wants to create together. From there it gets interesting. A strategic thinking mental model comes into play: how do we begin closing the gap? What resources do we already have, whose got what? What else do we need? What are the barriers? What’s critical, what can wait, where can we get the biggest bang for the buck, where can we find more money or other resources, etc. From there assignments are made, future meetings are scheduled, and some sort of continuous improvement model is activated around a set of questions, beginning with a reminding question: tell me again, what is it we said we are going to do together? Then: How are we doing? What’s working, what isn’t? What have we learned? Barriers, opportunities, what’s next?

Even a cursory review of the relevant documents produced by members of the broad coalition of organizations working on the many features of homelessness, who have been trying to work with and around land use, economic development plans, zoning laws, urban development, etc. for years, it’s clear to me that they have done a good job. Looking at the big picture I also get the sense that the turmoil, fear and anger, the confusion, threats to the public, the stigma, misinformation etc. have created huge barriers to reducing the harm caused by and to the homeless.

All of this begs the question: Given all the time spent by competent people, and the dollars invested, why are we stuck in a worsening homeless crisis? I mean the homeless coalition has everything lined up to open a 50-person shelter, and they still can’t find a piece of property or indoor structure; granted, that’s a drop in the bucket; still it would be of value. Meanwhile more and more people are on the verge of falling into the abyss. Families with vouchers issued by Social Services can’t find a place to rent. Something like 10% of the students at HSU and CR are homeless. And so on…

So what’s going on here? In Tent City Urbanism, From Self-organized Camps to Tiny House Villages, which is a resource used by many across the country, Andrew Heben states the problem this way:

“Sprawling shantytowns may be a reality of Third World countries, but certainly not in the United States—right? To uphold this notion, we have adopted legal frameworks that make these informal settlements unlawful through various zoning, trespassing, and ant-camping regulations. Instead, one must hire professionals to design and build the house, and apply for permits to certify that the shelter adheres to standardized building code. A glaring problem with this approach is that not all citizens can or ever will meet the formal expectations of renting or owning a home. With the economic recession in 2008 followed by the housing foreclosure crisis in 2010, this truth has brought light to light for an even broader range of people.”

While laws, property rights, and the specialization of homebuilding give order to our society, they also ensure perpetual disorder and unrest through the creation of homelessness.”

If you look at the final “Homeless Policy Paper,” issued on August 12, 2014, which was commission by the City of Eureka and Humboldt County, you’ll find a comprehensive plan to end homelessness based on a “housing-first” model, which includes a developmental process that begins with subsidized housing for families, veterans, seniors, and others with special needs. Emergency shelters, sanctioned tent cities, and construction of affordable housing are all in the plan. But more and more people can’t afford housing that is regulated by current building and zoning codes. And the subsidies from HUD are drying up.

Now what? Many who have been working on the growing homeless issue for years believe that signing the Shelter Crisis Declaration would remove the barriers to executing an orderly, thoughtful plan that already exists. Fewer restrictions would allow the market to produce the kind of housing that lower-paid workers can afford, which don’t have to be an eye sore or substandard. Good for the environment, good for business, good for people. Poor people need a break, not a hand out. Who needs to live in a 2,000 square foot house? 700 would work better for many of us. I think we need to go back to the beginning and work on a shared intention.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. FDR

Stay safe, stay dry

Dr. Bob


Earlier Column:
Not Just A Squishy Liberal: An Ex-Marine Talks Homelessness

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42 comments

  • Sorry too many words and paragraphs. Condense into one paragraph of 500 words or less. Otherwise no one cares about your socialist programs, how great you think you are, and how to save the world. You one messed up former Marine!

    • Oh, forget about crime stopper. He suffers from Cranial Rectal Inversion and thinks that idiots know more than educated accomplished people. They think common sense, which is very uncommon is the be all and end all of decision making.. It’s the new American way.

      One of the issues with housing that sometimes is ignored is how many houses that used to be rentals are now grow houses. More money can be made from renting to indoor growers than can be made from renters. And you don’t usually have to put up with pets, kids, additional family members etc. That may change, however, as the market crashes and growers can’t afford to pay the rents. That will take time.

      Homelessness will increase simply because as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and if the Republicans succeed in getting rid of Social Security and Medicare, it will get even worse. Part of the reason the Great Depression lasted so long was that there was no way to create economic stimulus that worked for large numbers. As a country we still have that idea each individual is responsible for what happens to them. We still believe that personal troubles are, in fact, personal issues rather than societal issues. Homelessness is a societal problem that needs to be solved by all of us.

      We are in the interim time before the next economic crisis and I am concerned that it will lead to the next Civil War. People would rather be dead than wrong. It’s a major character fault with most of us.

      • I agree with you, totally. Very concerned about the future because of the polarization caused by the growing inequalities. Will we come together or just blame one another?

    • Elric of Melniboné

      Waaaah! Words are hard!

      • It’s pretty clear that marijuana has been a boon to the local economy, to some extent filling the void left after the decline in timber and fisheries. Now what?

        However, maybe rents will stabilize and the negative environmental impact of growing pot will be reduced. Less crime too.

    • Actually I read it all was was very impressed! We need to hear more from this gentleman

    • You bleeding heart liberals should all get a warm fuzzy from this. Merry Christmas. I’ve lived here along time,seen pot go from a very illegal and 4,500 $ per unit to legal and what will it bottom out at? 100.00, 200.00 300.00 per unit… so the only people making anything will be the state and county. They think the black market will go away and that is laughable. As far as the homeless when the drugs dry up, and there are no jobs left(trimming and grow assistant). They will leave because no one will give them handouts.

  • This is a refreshing look at an extremely complicated issue. Thank you for your well reasoned and very insightful article.

  • A bit wordy, but thoughtful.

    The core problem is this: For the last 40 years wages have miserably failed to keep up with housing costs. The problem in Humboldt County was worsened by the failures of the lumber and paper mills, and now, the rapid deflation of the marijuana industry.
    Homelessness is the predictable and shameful result of the exponential growth in wealth inequality.
    It is simply not believable that lavishing more money on the wealthy will ‘trickle down’ to the street. As our leaders tell us, ‘Those People’ have already been “lulled in the hammock of dependency”.

    • Couldn’t be that a combination of ever expanding regulation regarding housing construction and renting simultaneously with an uncontrolled immigration lead to insufficient stock of houses? That increasing the population of unskilled workers both supresses wages due to competition while housing prices, being strangled by regulation, fees and cost shifts, rises because of the same competition?

      It’s the lack of rational government where mass influx of people is encouraged as a good thing simply because it keeps wages down while planning/paying for expanded infrastructure to take care of them is deemed too expensive and controversial.

      There is nothing sinister about this as many seem to suggest. It is a natural result of wanting incompatible things.

      • It’s not always as complicated as that, thinking allowed. In my opinion, It’s mostly untreated mental health issues and drug problems, also very little treatment available. I would also add family system breakdown and lack of a strong culture just to make it a little more complicated.

        I think we need mental institutions.

        • What about the legal standard for involuntary commitments? That is what virtually emptied the psychiatric hospitals before they were closed. It created the right of the patient to challenge holding them. They mostly challenged. They most were and are released if the legal criteria of habeas corpus is met. This created the cycle we all recognize today of picking up a mentally ill person acting out, sending them to a mental health institution “for evaluation”where they are required to take the proper medications. Due to meds, their symptoms are lessened to the point they are not a danger to themselves or other and they are released. Whereupon they stop taking their meds and get worse again.

          The mental hospitals did not close and throw their populations out into the wider world. What happened is patients left the hospitals and the emptied hospitals closed as their inpatients left. I remember the attempts at saving the institutions as they consolidated and consolidated and consolidated into finally the few they are today.

          Drugs also invaded while families were still strong. When the work ethic was still strong. But tolerance, even celebration of drug use became fashionable, and, as they became lost their stigma, they invaded every aspect of life. It’s like tv commercials- a potential buyer resists the first 20 times they see the ad making it look so inviting, but just once they see the ad when they are vulnerable and they buy. (Note- this is a metaphor). Well, stopping is much harder, isn’t it.

          Most drug addicts have abused their families and friends so that the only friends they have is other drug addicts anyway. Not the family’s fault.

          I stand by my “it’s complicated.” I’ve tried to save someone who wouldn’t be saved. The social worker tried. The police tried. He got a lawyer, got released, and was dead of exposure within a month. I’m sure the lawyer and the advocate for the mentally ill chalked up a victory.

  • Elric of Melniboné

    Great overview of the issues, challenges and possible solutions, Bob. I look forward to this column and glad that you’ve decided to make it a weekly feature! I’d like to become involved in solutions rather than waiting for others to do it. Thanks!

  • Yes, too long. But I think is important that we really to the larger picture. If we can come to an understanding of the undelying political-economic forces that are driving the homeless crisis, we’ll be in a better position to respond in ways that address the real causes instead of just blaming people who are most vulnerable. I’m wondering about why there isn’t more affordable housing, good paying jobs, or available education and training opportunities, and what can be done..:

    • Because real solutions neither generate profits- which liberals demand just as much as any conservative (just look to the salaries and benefits of university salaried instructors and the superfluous expenditures not related to education) – and require hard choices, every program designed will be a money maker for those designing them and employed by it and will still shove the drug addicted and mentally ill out. At least those who have not aged into relative harmlessness. An drug addict will never be a desirable neighbor.

      Nope. I expect any program designed by those who view the actual sources of the problem as “the most vulnerable” will help, at everyone rlse’s expense, only those who are already self supporting have an easier time. I wonder if anyone has ever added up the actual costs of the average drug addict to the society around it. Or the costs of failed initiatives. I suppose if anyone did, it would be likely it would just be used as an argument to spend more on hiring them to try various schemes to help “reduce costs.”

      Try a small scale private project first. If that is successful, then bring it to public attention as a solution. Right now a hundred thousand social workers are big on telling the public what the public is doing wrong and how they need to fund the latest clever, innovative idea. Meanwhile the problem gets worse and worse and worse. Not unrelated I think.

      • I agree, well said. There are just as many solutions to experiment with asap as there are people. Being free to be able to lawfully do so, is what I support.

  • Move the homeless out of Humboldt County.

  • Not too long, these are issues that we have spent time not long enough. This is great reading for folks who have patience and an actual interest in crime stopping. community building, and so on. After my generations war in Iraq I’ve been watching a spiteful divide grow between the veteran community and the civilian community, Its real good to hear from a veteran and solid citizen who isn’t spewing party line based rhetoric. Much appreciated!

  • Thank you for your service Dr. Bob.

    While I can fully appreciate the beginning of your notes, I’m afraid my trust wanes.

    Yes, the perpetual wars have caused great harm to not only their countries, but to our own.
    Q. Why did you forget to mention that the perpetual wars were never declared by Congress, and therefore are considered to be contrary to the constitution? The educated would know this, but the uneducated fall deeper into the claws of deception that creates more anger against the Constitution.
    Q. Why aren’t the people being made aware of who advised these unconstitutional wars, and why? What is/was the outcome?

    Yes, governmental interference is the reason behind almost every struggle.
    Q. How can we identify false solutions to real problems? How do we restore the right of the people to have and enjoy a limited government as defined in the Constitution which good Marines like you fought to protect?

    Create a crisis, offer a solution. (preplanned long ago solution), has been gently replaced with Create trust, offer a solution.

    The website referred to in you nice letter, states that there is nothing the people can do to fight over reach. Defeatism is the work of the devil. America will not tolerate defeat.
    America stands for prosperity and abundance, not scarcity and sustainable control.

    I’m looking forward to your next letter. I hope you are looking forward to mine or others like me. Together, we can tackle the blinders.

  • what he fails to mention is drugs. the drugs create the mental illness, the crime and the homelessness. and it all starts with marijuana, which distorts logic. i attribute many of our present problems to the beginning of the drug era in the sixties. he also fails to mention deficit spending.there are many unnecessary govt. programs and regulations in addition to excessive military spending.indeed, social programs far exceed military in cost.we must have a strong military, but have no significant reason to be fighting regimes such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, just as we had no reason to be in Korea or vietnam. we must however be prepared to defend allies such as Israel and that does require strategic military placements and advanced weaponry. there is also no reason to pay more than our fair share to the un, which has turned out to be a corrupt organization.i would point out that many modern nations have our same problems, britain, france,spain, greece,russia,only in russia its alcohol. even china has debt problems, which they overcome by subjugating the masses,just as russia does.we need to control our population, too. America can no longer afford to welcome the masses.we also have too much govt. it is an unaccountable monster, particularly with its myriad fiefdom like bureaucracies. and the only way around it that i see is decentralization. a good example is california. it should have been cut in half long ago.we have created a system with more govt. workers than there are laborers to support it, and overpaid them. look at the unfunded pension liabilties alone. i dont have all the answers. this is a huge problem and small counties and towns are not equipped to handle it. but i do know i never benefited from being given things. i was always better off if i got them myself, thru my own efforts. and nobody i know ever benefited from drugs and alcohol. so any assistance program should center on elminating that use and being expected to perform tasks as conditions precedent.

    • Hey, you can’t blame marijuana and the sixties. Most people I know who went to Woodstock (my parents etc) became good hardworking members of society. Many, many successful people smoke marijuana every day, and so I think your barking up the wrong tree. Hard drugs are the problem. Some hard drug users start with marijuana, same as they probably started with beer before that. It doesn’t mean beer is the problem, any more than marijuana.

      There’s a lot of other things wrong with your reasoning that I don’t have patience to argue, but I will tell you that this is how you spell ‘jeffersonian’.

      • sorry for the typo. but you are wrong . sure, some people came out ok, but many others didnt, and passed their distorted habits and values on to their children. local social workers will confirm that almost everyone they serve that has mental health and homeless issues is on drugs. further, the marijuana industry attracts druggies and malfeasors. just open your eyes.its ruined this county.

        • You can’t see the difference between pot heads and hard drug users? Pot heads= Ted turner, Richard Branson, any musician, most college kids. Meth and heroin users= The people around eureka courthouse, that guy on the spray painted bike, the guy rummaging through your recycling.
          Which is the problem in your mind?

          • Pot has it’s own special way of being destructive to society. It can have the action of slowing brains that are hyperactive but it has the same effect on people whose thinking is pretty slow in the first place. In other words, it makes them dumber than nature intended. Some people have the necessary extra brain power to cope with a loss but frankly many do not.

            Imagine a world where the average intelligence and below, which by definition is more than half the population, is chronically dumbed down. That a person, who has trouble with the effort required to examine their own thinking in the first place but knows something is off with it so keeps working on it, now is medicated into doing it worse yet feeling good about it.

            • wow!! and then put that with the dumbing down of Americans in the school systems and you have a pretty social vortex that is spiraling downward … interesting to think about where we have been, where we are and the possibility of where we are going if there is no intervention …

              • I don’t disagree with you 100%. I think that in limited amounts marijuana can help some people be more creative. But generally, yes it does make most people slower and less productive. I still think that the effects of marijuana are largely negative only for the user, unlike the effects of hard drugs, which are on a whole other level of bad for society as a whole. There is a big difference, and if you can’t differentiate then you aren’t a critical thinker.

                • There is a difference but wide sprend pernicious low level disease is just as bad, if not worse, than a self limiting acute illness. For one thing, people pay attention to a crisis but not to something chronic but undramatic.

                  If you only think of indiviual destruction just because it is dramatic, then you will not notice the drain on the society in general, which can survive even the loss of many individuals and recover. Missing the chronic debilitation of masses of people is worse because, if the masses are not well enough to take care of themselves, there is no help for the individual.

                  Besides, I don’t think pot users are more creative. They are just less self critical. They don’t produce better quality as much as they are ok with inferior quality.

            • Well, I don’t think you are right. I think many smart people whose brains go hard and fast all day need a way to kick back in the evening. For some it’s a cocktail, for others it’s a joint. We all know there are plenty of abusers of both the cocktail and the joint. Their are many very productive pot heads out there. I was one for years but eventually found it made me too forgetful. But that’s just me;)

              We need to accept that it’s here, let’s educate our children to use it (or not) correctly, and don’t make it ‘untouchable’ because that is what makes it attractive and abused, just like with alcohol.

              I agree our culture doesn’t need any more laziness and stupidity.. and I despise the marijuana culture in general, the ‘gro-bro’ pitbull – sideways hat- big truck- scene. Just saying, there’s plenty of good and bad on both sides. Let’s be smart about it and realize it’s here to stay.

              • Pot will have a record like alcohol. Beer advertisers speak of “responsible drinking” but in the end it is a product subject to much abuse and causing much damage. Pot will be in the same place in 20 years if not more so. There will be a certain percentage whose life revolves around getting high and will be a burden to those who don’t. Then, as its use becomes widespread enough for statistics to be accurate, they will find even moderate use damages their bodies and minds. Sorts of cancers and other chronic illnesses will become apparent.

                This is because all drugs that provide a high do so by poisoning the body. Although pot is harder to overdose in than many others, its chronic use will take its toll over years.

                In a way, it will be worse than tobacco products because pot makes people both dumber and ok with it. Hard to wean people off tobacco as any smoker will say but at least at some point they want to stop. Pot users are viciously defensive about their belief in the goodness of pot. Its users will not stop until they are facing death but will certainly live longer as a burden to everyone else.

  • Saddened by all this

    As long as our economic system is base on ‘winners’ & ‘losers’ we will have the stratification of wealth that results in homelessness.
    We need a new model, where everyone succeeds. Where the success of our society is more important & more valuable than the success of the individual.
    Competition is self defeating.

    • That is ridiculous. It’s called evolution. Survival of the fittest. Basic biology. Sorry if that isn’t working for you.

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    Thanks for the exchange of ideas presented here.

    It appears to me that blaming “military Keynesianism” for the homeless in Humboldt is pretty facile, specious, puerile.

    And, I do love it when academics and persons purportedly educated enough to know the difference, decide that there is some kind of “economic crisis”. In my world, we are streamlining the military and the economy is cooking!

    Please don’t say that homelessness is caused by anything other than laziness, drug addiction, and bleeding hearts who intensively co-depend with the homeless.

    Thanks!

    • Ever think of a new ‘handle’? It’s hard to put together your somewhat intelligent and cogent comments with your misspelled and random handle. Or maybe it’s just really ironic and hip.

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    Emily – never underestimate the importance of being hep… In my business (retired) it’s critical!

    Thanks for not telling me to “leave”.

    • Haha no way! I don’t really always agree but your comments are good fodder for discussion. What I can’t stand is the ignorant racially tinged bloviating from certain commenters, they don’t add anything. I think the whole point of comment section is to have a good discussion. But you run into these types in real life as well… I guess they don’t get invited to many social gatherings and so this is the only place they can blow off their thoughts.
      So be it.

  • In the first place, where is Mr. Cox from? If he lives in Eureka, then he may have a
    point. If he does not live in Eureka, then he should have the proposed village
    within the town he resides in.

    • From his previous article Mr. Cox lives in San Diego. Don’t they have homeless there; so he can put a container village within his town? Perhaps he could get funding for a free bus ticket
      back to where the travelers are from, so they can go to someplace like San Diego for affordable
      housing, more job opportunities and better weather. The city council would probably
      be glad to pay for that.
      Everybody knows Humboldt has little opportunity, expensive housing, dreary weather 1/2
      the year; it’s bright points are it’s natural beauty, fresh air, lack of congestion.

      Why do advocates that don’t live here want the city council to pay for a village for junkies. Adults (meaning 18 and over) should not come here looking for a job or for affordable housing because they won’t find it; don’t expect the county to pick up the tab.

      A better solution is to provide a parking lot or some acreage for people to camp on or put a trailer on, etc. for free. Especially parents with children, women, the elderly, the disabled should be given affordable housing somewhere where they can use a section 8 voucher; maybe in San Diego. And Provide them a free bus ticket to somewhere with a better economy, more affordable housing like San Diego.

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