Wednesday, October 13, 2010

San Francisco: Fighting the Bums

The homelessness industry has pulled off some impressive feats of rebranding over the years—most notably, turning street vagrancy into a consequence of unaffordable housing, rather than of addiction and mental illness. But for sheer audacity, nothing tops the alchemy that homelessness advocates and their government sponsors are currently attempting in San Francisco. The sidewalks of the Haight-Ashbury district have been colonized by aggressive, migratory youths who travel up and down the West Coast panhandling for drug and booze money. Homelessness, Inc. is trying to portray these voluntary vagabonds as the latest victims of inadequate government housing programs, hoping to defeat an ordinance against sitting and lying on public sidewalks that the Haight community has generated.

Read the rest of Heather MacDonald on the efforts to win back the sidewalks of San Francisco.

[San Francisco has long been one of my favorite cities. I can remember walking through the city years ago within once being panhandled.]


Anonymous said...

I see no evidence of leadership or ethics in your article, just a nasty spiteful scapegoating of a defenceless and helpless minority. For every American dream there must be 10 American nightmares, for every winner a loser, that is why you have such a homeless problem there.
And you bame those who cant answer back, you're a disgrace.

Michael Wade said...


I believe that your argument makes the mistake of combining admirable people who are truly down on their luck with another group that is predatory and lazy. Most people would draw a distinction between the two groups in order to help the first and discourage the latter.