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Opinion: The Homeless Industrial Complex

Insisting housing construction is the only solution to homelessness, a policy that’s resulted in an “unacceptably slow” rate of building (per the City Controller) at costs far above market. And a policy that has cost the City and County more than $150 million in lost HUD funding in six years.

Calling its programs successful when it can offer no verifiable evidence any of its programs has achieved substantial progress in reducing homelessness.

Calling the homelessness crisis a housing problem while ignoring the very real effects of substance abuse and mental illness among the homeless community.

More semantics. Faced with widespread program failures, the Homeless Industrial Complex has turned to rephrasing the problem. Illegally parked RV’s become “homes”. Tent encampments become “communities”. It’s much easier to defend letting someone stay in their “home” than explaining why you can’t clear an encampment.

The only logical explanation for the City’s failure to address the homeless crisis in the presence of a system that supports failure.

Tim Campbell


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