What Shall We Do With The Chronic Homeless?

What shall we do with a drunken sailor? [three times] 

Early in the morning. 

Put him in the long-boat and make him bail her. 

Early in the morning. 

What shall we do with a drunken soldier? 

Early in the morning. 

Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober. 

Early in the morning.” 

As the old sea shanty goes, knowing what to do with the drunken sailor or soldier is easy. What’s not an easy question is “What shall we do with the chronic homeless?” Especially at Code Blues, they get up  early in the morning. 

A satirical answer: 

What shall we do with the chronic homeless? [three times] 

Early in the morning 

Churn them in the Soylent Green plant to make Bucks County greener 

Early in the morning 

Fortunately, Bucks County hasn’t passed the Soylent Green initiative. If it were to pass, it wouldn’t be easy being homeless when the county’s Soylent Green! 

One thing Bucks County has tried is to send the homeless to the nuthouse. But this hasn’t worked out very well. Like the war on drugs, it just wastes tax payer money and perpetuates the problem. 

In the Friday edition of the Bucks County Courier times, an article mentions a couple people in lower Bucks County, PA who have been chronically homeless, one for 12 years, another for eight, both baby boomers. I know one of them. One problem I’ve diagnosed is that the 12-year homeless person has PMS (poor me syndrome) and has trouble working and playing nice with others.  

Attitude is a large factor in getting out of homelessness. I’ve known people who have, largely because they had a good attitude. I mention this in the book about homelessness I’m working on so I won’t steal any more of my thunder. 

Attitude towards the homeless is also a factor in fostering chronic homelessness. In Bucks County there seems to be a caste system, where once you are homeless, you are always homeless. Because of a few bad apples, some people judge all the homeless to be bad. Wrong! 

There is some hope. With the change in Presidential office, as least one program associated with Bucks Builds Bums/Build-A Bum has been defunded. And with this change came a change in HUD leadership. The new director is taking, unlike Bucks County, a housing first approach. This should help.