The Guardian conducted a nationwide 18-month study of America’s homeless relocation program which sends these people out of the cities and on to someone else’s doorstep. After studying more than 34,000 journeys by the homeless, the newspaper was able to determine where more than 20,000 wound up as a result of this program, which is now three decades old.
The Guardian reports: “While the stated goal of San Francisco’s Homeward Bound and similar programs is helping people, the schemes also serve the interests of cities, which view free bus tickets as a cheap and effective way of cutting their homeless populations.”
They continue: “People are routinely sent thousands of miles away after only a cursory check by authorities to establish they have a suitable place to stay once they get there. Some said they feel pressured into taking tickets, and others described ending up on the streets within weeks of their arrival.”
Some homeless are sent to places where they have or had homes, efforts are made to have someone to care for them, and sometimes the shelters or agencies try to find them jobs. However, more often, they are left to fend for themselves with almost no follow-up.
Many don’t realize that they can’t even go back. If they agree to take the bus or plane tickets, they also agree to a life ban, but many say they didn’t know and wouldn’t have taken the option had they been told.
One homeless person said, “They should’ve said, ‘are you going have a place to stay?” She said she was sent without them knowing the answer.
There are those for whom it was successful. One who took the ticket said, “If I hadn’t gotten that ticket I would have drunk myself to death.” But another says, “We feel like animals, like they put us in a garbage bag and put us to the side.”
New York City even flew 650 to foreign countries to get rid of them.
John Miller of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League said, “That was the easiest sell … give us money and we’ll ship our problem to somebody else.” Jeff Weinberger of the Florida Homeless Action League said, “Once they get you out of their city, they really don’t care what happens to you.”
The program costs American taxpayers millions of dollars.
Almost half the people San Francisco claims to have helped lift out of homelessness were simply given one-way tickets, the report states.”
Oh, but how can this be? The cities are liberal havens for the marginalized because they care so or are they and do they?
Read the investigation at the Guardian.