Like any large city, San Jose has a lot of homeless people. According to one site, as many as twenty-thousand people are homeless in Santa Clara county at any one time. Many of them live in San Jose (being the largest city in the county, and the entire South Bay).
We regularly see any number of different, fairly normal-looking people, picking through our dumpsters looking for cans and bottles to collect the deposit on and recycle. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was one person who regularly came by and went through the dumpster. What surprises me is that there is competition for our trash.
Over the past few weeks, someone has established residency in our parking lot. He has a smallish RV that he parks in the same spot every evening, goes to bed, and leaves early in the morning, likely to go to work.
What can we do about the homeless in our city? (And no, I don’t mean “to get rid of them”, I mean “to help them”.)
O! O! O! Here’s a concept!! Make the cost of living lower so normal human beings can actually reach it! Wow!! Who woulda thunk? I’m curious to know if there’s any shelters downtown?
You can’t just “make the cost of living lower” since, for the most part, the market dictates the cost of living. That means there have to be wealth-sharing programs in order to move some of the wealth of the rich (that is pushing the market higher) with the poor.
Currently the only way the wealth is being shared it through taxes — but it’s not enough, and not efficient enough. In many countries (for example, India) wealth sharing often happens more directly — a rich person will directly hire many poor people for various tasks: lawn care, driver, etc.
This doesn’t happen in the US, largely (as far as I can tell) because many in the US are really quite scared of “those people” and don’t trust them. Maybe this is founded in reality, maybe not.
Most northern US cities have a built in program for dealing with homeless. It’s called ‘winter’.