Honolulu leaders have been talking about following practices that Seattle is using to try to finally get a handle on that city’s terrible homelessness problem. And it turns out that much of what Seattle is doing is actually modeled on programs in another West Coast city, San Francisco.
And San Francisco, it turns out, has had an enormous homelessness problem for decades, despite spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year trying to address it. The mess has now boiled over, with the San Francisco newspaper prominently labeling the situation a “civic disgrace” and warning of a “homeless industrial complex” in which so many are invested in treating the problem’s symptoms that the problem itself keeps regenerating and growing.
Honolulu is not San Francisco, or Seattle. But if we are going to try to emulate some practices those cities have followed, we sure better be also considering any warnings coming from those cities.
We already have our own Civic Disgrace.