These scapegoating articles and comments are full of quotes from people who begin by describing themselves as "liberal," then announce that, after some dreadful personal experience with an individual they presumed to be homeless, even their own sainted selves have had enough of sharing a city with homeless people in general.I think this is what used to be known as liberals being mugged by reality.
The Chronicle is the principle newspaper of the most left wing city in the United States so why would they feel comfortable adopting such a supposedly right wing platform for dealing with homelessness? Quite simply because the ultra liberal (in the US sense of the word) policies that the city has pursued up until now have created a disaster in slow motion. The city has more homeless than New York despite being less than 10% of the size according to some sources, although the exact figure is unclear and estimates range from 7000 to 20000 people. More than 200 of them die each year. The cause of the city's problem is pretty obvious though, they pay people to be homeless:
San Francisco still gives about one-third of its homeless population its benefits all in cash - as much as $395 a month.Yes you read that right, being homeless has a starting salary of almost $5000 a year, plus there is lax enforcement of begging laws, perhaps a few homeless charities can top up the figure too and there are few overheads. Whilst the death toll suggests that it is not a comfortable living in the long term, in the short term it isn't exactly onerous. If you subsidise something then you will get more of it, it really is pretty simple. It isn't compassionate to support the homeless when the effects of that support are to make homelessness more entrenched than ever.