Rising violence & chaos are rapidly killing the hoary demand by progressive activists that we deny the reality of addiction/mental illness in causing homelessness

Nobody lives in open drug scene "homeless encampments" because they can't afford the rent

"When you see somebody passed out in their own vomit or covered in feces, and there are needles, that’s not a manifestation of poverty or a housing shortage. That’s mental illness & drug addiction, and it’s scary. People are suffering and the situation is dangerous for everyone."
As the illusion that homelessness is a problem of high rents evaporates, progressives are now retreating to the position that homelessness is "bidirectional."

Well of course it is. Everybody knows that. But it's addiction/mental illness that causes people to live on the street.
"A common assumption is that there is a unidirectional causal pathway between drug use and homelessness," writes @KellyMDoran in JAMA.

No, not it's not, which is why Doran presents precisely zero evidence for her claim.

Nobody denies homelessness makes addiction worse — that's a straw man.

And it appears to serve the purpose of misdirecting attention from the fact that progressive academics/activists/journalists have denied that addiction *causes* homelessness for 40 years.
Doran & her coauthors reveal their ideological motivations in the very next sentence:

"This misconception places the blame on the individuals and away from the root structural contributors to homelessness as well as perpetuates stigma and points to the wrong solutions."
Having acknowledged that addiction causes homelessness, and then having constructed a straw man out of the idea that anyone denies homelessness making it worse, Doran et al go *assert* without evidence that "the root cause of homelessness... is lack of affordable housing"! 🤨
All of this is progressive fancy-dancing to get around the fact that they have misled policymakers, journalists, and the public for 40 years in their active and willful denial of addiction & untreated mental illness as the primary cause of homelessness.
Why now? Because drug deaths reached 100,000 last year. Because obviously psychotic homeless people are more visible. And because people like @SoledadUrsua are calling bullshit on the Big Homelessness Lie

The addiction/mental illness homeless problem is all major American cities & worse on West Coast. What starts in the West moves East.

Miami has done comparatively well in reducing unsheltered homeless but I just saw dozens of homeless addicts, many psychotic, in Miami Beach
We don't have a clear view. Homeless counts have always been inaccurate and many have not happened or happened unscientifically and in an unstandardized way over the last two years of the pandemic. But nobody denies the problem grew much worse everywhere.
And the real problem to addressing the problem isn't lack of precision about how many people are on the streets and how many in shelters, RVs, and encampments. The real problem is overcoming the longstanding denial of the nature of the problem so we can move on to fixing it.
America is more divided than ever but I have found significant bipartisan agreement among reasonable Ds & Rs on homelessness in part because everywhere in the civilized world the problem is addressed in the same basic way: Shelter First, Treatment First, Housing Earned.
The drug death and homelessness crisis result from the same things: untreated mental illness, open drug scenes/markets, and namby-pamby treatment of addicts

Just as addiction requires intervention, so too do our cities, our states, and our whole country

In addressing the existential threat to cities posed by out-of-control drug-induced homelessness chaos is creating, we have the opportunity to come together around a policy that is neither liberal nor conservative but rather wholly practical and humane.
The mechanics of Shelter First, Treatment First, and Housing Earned are simple. Universal congregate shelters. Psych/addiction evals & care. Centralized/efficient case management. Camping bans. Housing as a reward for sobriety. Mandatory treatment as alternative to jail.
What all of that requires is simply facing reality. Progressives are right that we need universal psychiatric care, treatment on demand, and universal shelter. Conservatives are right that we must enforce laws, have rewards/punishment to change behavior, and contain costs.
When traditional progressive and conservative demands on drugs and mental illness are combined they are right. When they exist in opposition to one another, they are wrong. I'm not advocating a compromise. I'm advocating a combination.
We have three choices: 1. Let addicts/mentally ill living on the street in increasingly dangerous ways. 2. Lock them all up without regard for their civil rights or our shared humanity. 3. Treat them using the same tools every civilized society in the world uses.
The only reason we're not doing #3 is because both Ds & Rs are stuck in outdated paradigms. Progressives dominate the issue, and are thus the main obstacle. But that creates an opportunity for moderate Ds & Rs to demand Shelter First, Treatment First, Housing Earned.
I should have said "just" because they can't afford the rent.

They can't afford the rent bc their addiction/mental illness leads them to not work and they are using the money they have to buy drugs

Many stop paying rent and live with family and friends until they are kicked out

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More from @ShellenbergerMD

13 Jan
San Francisco Mayor @LondonBreed 🔥🔥

"We want someone who struggles with substance use to get into treatment rather than to be out on the streets or to be in jail. And the difference might be, is we may have to use force to get them into treatment."

Asks @karaswisher “So if you had to remove one thing in your way, what would it be?"

Mayor Breed: “I would remove the board of supervisors."

“I will say, my friend getting gunned down and killed and people getting stabbed and mothers and elderly people getting attacked — like, this has gotten completely out of control, and it is our responsibility as elected leaders to do something about it.”
Read 5 tweets
10 Jan
Progressive Democrats say they care about working people & the climate more than moderates and Republicans, but progressive policies resulted in a 30% increase in natural gas prices and rising emissions from more coal-burning. Why is that?

Progressive Democrats @BernieSanders & @PramilaJayapal, the head of the progressive caucus, sent a letter demanding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) investigate whether “market manipulation” is causing nat gas prices to rise 30%, an astonishing $746 per household.
But the main reason natural gas prices are rising is because progressives have restricted production. Sanders, Jayapal, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) & other progressives successful fought to restrict gas production through bans on fracking & pipelines.
Read 43 tweets
7 Jan
Summarized the best available evidence into a book on the problems & solutions; co-founded the only state-wide coalition with a serious plan; made seed grants to activist start-ups; organized 4 protests against drug dealing in 7 months in 3 cities; & just getting started.
As for ass kissing, I criticized Mayor Breed for violating her own covid orders in September and will not hesitate to criticize her or anyone else in the future.

But I believe in carrots and sticks. And right now she deserves our praise and gratitude for doing something.
For more information on the California Peace Coalition, the only coalition in San Francisco or California or the US with a serious, proven strategy for addressing the drug death crisis, please visit:

Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
A lot of San Franciscans & people who love the city have rightly criticized its drug, crime & homeless crisis, I included

Well, now's our chance to support SF leaders like Mayor @LondonBreed when they do the right thing.

Please consider thanking her
I literally wrote the book on San Francisco's problems and agree we must keep pressure on the city's leaders.

But we also must encourage policymakers when they take positive steps in the right direction, particularly when doing so is risky, which it is:

This is not complicated. This not nuclear engineering.

There is literally a "How to Shut Down an Open Drug Scene" check list (below)

Breed is taking action on the first two: build a political consensus & open a linkage center

Many others are in place

Read 12 tweets
6 Jan
Many people think climate change is increasing the frequency of natural disasters but they actually declined by 10% over the last two decades, the best-available data show
“The period since 2000 is viewed as the most reliable for data reliability, but it is safe to say that even since 2000, coverage has improved. So the 10% decline is possibly an underestimate.“ @RogerPielkeJr

Much of what people think about climate change is wrong

Deaths from natural disasters have declined dramatically but more people think they increased than think they decreased
Read 28 tweets
5 Jan
Many people in San Francisco say they support the plan by Mayor @LondonBreed to crack down on drug dealing & open drug use, but she is facing fierce resistance from progressive politicians and bureaucrats, and not getting the support she needs to succeed.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed made national news last month after announcing a crackdown on drug crimes and an end to the “bullish**t” in the streets, including open drug use and open air drug dealing.

But now her plan is being threatened by the progressive D.A., progressives on the Board of Supervisors, and progressives within the city’s homeless and public health agencies, including the San Francisco Department of Homelessness (HSH) & the SF Department of Public Health (DPH).
Read 34 tweets

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