"Pamper" Drunks--Save Money

Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2006 11:32 am
The current New Yorker has a very provocative article by Malcolm Gladwell, Million Dollar Murray. His thesis is that the hard-core homeless, the alcoholics and addicts, cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year in medical bills.



The solution under consideration is to set these hard core homeless up with apartments, provide access to wholesome food, and have counseling available on a round-the-clock basis.

The cost of services comes to about ten thousand dollars per homeless client per year. An efficiency apartment in Denver averages $376 a month, or just over forty-five hundred a year, which means that you can house and care for a chronically homeless person for at most fifteen thousand dollars, or about a third of what he or she would cost on the street. The idea is that once the people in the program get stabilized they will find jobs, and start to pick up more and more of their own rent, which would bring someone's annual cost to the program closer to six thousand dollars. As of today, seventy-five supportive housing slots have already been added, and the city's homeless plan calls for eight hundred more over the next ten years.

Of course this money-saving treatment would be limited to the hard core homeless.


Should efficience trump traditional compassion?
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Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2006 12:12 pm

thinking....the compassion didn't seem to be working too well.

I'm thinking right now of my comments on the "cancer" thread about entitlement and deserving.

Murray is, I hate to say it but true...a hopeless case. There are those that truly do not have the capability to make any effort for themselves, they are physically past that point.

Since there is no way in the world Murray could make it on his own, I think he is entitled to a room to keep him off the street.

The savings can go to assisting those who are able and making an effort to improving their lives.

Murray will be dead and gone sooner rather than later, even if he is in an environment where he can be monitored.
He managed to save up $6K at one point while being monitored. That is the best he can do.

The homeless and panhandler (the alcoholic, drug addicted ones) are two different breeds, and can't be compared.
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Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2006 12:13 pm
whoops, just got to the end of that great article.

I feel validated.

Thanks Noddy, this is very interesting.
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Reply Thu 16 Feb, 2006 12:25 pm

I love my New Yorker subscription.
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