Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane

NEW YORK (AP) New York City is buying one-way plane tickets for homeless families to leave the city.
It's part of a Bloomberg administration program to keep the homeless out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family. More than 550 families have left the city since 2007. All it takes is for a relative to agree to take them in.
The city employs a travel agency for domestic travel and the Department of Homeless Services handles international travel. City officials say there are no limits on where a family can be sent and families can reject the offer. Families have been sent to 24 states and five continents, mostly to Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
City officials say none of the relocated families have returned to city shelters. Via Huffington Post


  1. Oh my goodness. What is this post all about?! I can't imagine anything good will come out of this post or this thread.

  2. I will pony up for first classs!

  3. what about an alderman and her staff? can they be considered a homeless family? they're certainly not welcome in my home!

  4. In a related story...Alderman Shiller erects a 1/2 scale replica of the Statue of Liberty on the Wilson Yard roof during the topping out ceremony to welcome the huddled masses.

  5. $36,000.00 per year to keep a family in the shelter system.

    $3,000.00 per month. Take a look at criag's list and see what $3000.00 per months gets you. It gets you a pimp 3 bedroom!


  7. Caring for the homeless isn't just about a roof over someone's head, it's the services that are needed (eg, counseling, job training) to help them. With the prevalence of drugs/alcholism/mental illness among homeless (often the reason they are homeless), it's not an easy job. Same goes for kids in special ed. It costs much more than the average student. Either society decides we are going to care for them, or just ship them somewhere else to be someone else's problem. The trick is NOT to think you can solve all of the problems simply by putting an overpriced roof over someone's head.

  8. No offense allenpg, your heart seems to be in the right place.

    But whatever we have been doing is clearly not working.

  9. I see no problem with this - if the individual or family WANTS to go live with a relative in another part of the country/world and need a means of getting there. Shoving them on a plane to get rid of them though wouldn't be too humane.

    This, however, would never work in Chicago - specifically Uptown. Someone would be crying "racism," "evil gentrifying condo owners," blah, blah, blah... even if the homeless person WANTS the plane ticket. They'd just be afraid of losing some of their voting base.

  10. Damn you MarathonMan,

    Damn you.

    I was going to make the tickets for Shiller comment.

    Get your damn dirty ape hands off my posts.

    Seriously, I prefer Helen stay.

    My guess is that IF she runs in 2011 she is gonna lose. The voters aren't happy at the moment.

    Time will tell.

    In the meantime she can keep collecting campaign donations. Seems like in the past some of that money ended up in her son's pocket. For services of course. I guess the lawyer, professional gambler, real estate broker thangs he has dabbled in aren't taking up all of his valuable time.

    Perhaps defending those accused of funneling money to terrorists isn't particularly lucrative.

    I wouldn't know. I get my legal knowledge entirely from The Peoples Court and watching reruns of "Law and Order".

    If Shiller does run and loses I will be so happy that I may actually GF myself. I'm sorry, I'm channeling Paul from the Tattoo Factory at the moment.

  11. Wow, IP, I must have really made you livid. Not a single mention of hookers in that post.

    Let me say that again - W O W.

  12. Well MarathonMan I'm feeling a bit politically correct today.

    I think I shall refer to "horizontal entertainment specialists" as opposed to hookers.

  13. This is just ridiculous. So basically the city is shipping out their homeless so the problem goes away? Cuba did the same thing with their criminals and mental patients...They just shipped them to the states... I don't think shipping the homeless out of NYC will solve anything. Clearly the services offered also don't help the majority of homeless. Has the government or the social service groups ever gone into the streets and asked the homeless what kind of services would actually help them to get on their feet? Or are all the available services based on trial and error with no interest in improving the current system? There has to be a better solution - I just don't have it. There will always be people that prefer the streets to a roof over their head; and support services will always be needed.

  14. I actually think this is an admirable gesture.....again, it's not 'forced', but available to anyone that wants it.
    Obviously in cases where a homeless person is unable to connect with a relative or friend who can help, in another city, this would be a good thing.

    Let's face it, isn't Uptown the most social service saturated part of the city? Yet there's a lot of lost
    (or drunk) souls adrift on the streets.

  15. As far as I can tell there are a few kinds of homeless

    1) The crazy people. These people are not capable of dealing with society, so we've got to think about long term housing. They can't deal with reality, so they're not going to be mad.

    2) The drug addicts. They've chosen to be homeless, so its not really my problem if they get off the streets. The more services we provide to these people, the more we enable their destructive behavior. They've chosen to take life to the edge, so we should let them.

    3) The unfortunates. The people, who through bad luck, have ended up homeless. These are the ones we can , and should be helping. They want to, and can become part of society again with a little help.

    Trouble is, we waste too many resources on #1 and #2. It may sound cruel, but its time to focus on the people we can save, and let God take care of everyone else.

  16. Okay, this is gonna come off as ""as long as I don't see them..."

    but, I've noticed lately that two homeless have camped out in front of the Beck's bookstore next to the Aldi...across from Stewart school...with an impressive amount of stuff.

    It's a strange choice considering there is no shelter. I've witnessed her relieve herself right on the side walk and him sleeping in the middle of foot traffic.

    I called 311 and they said they can do a wellness check but cannot remove them.

    Is there a way to clear them from the sidewalk and get them into a better situation?

  17. This is one of those things the "chamber" can do: Educate businesses how to discourage this in front of their business. You wouldn't see this in other wards or on the same block as an alderman's office.

    Better yet, the social services belonging to the "chamber" can become more proactive because they are the ones attracting the homeless to come to Uptown.

  18. The thing you have to remember with the NYC plan is that A) the people have to WANT to leave (they aren't just picking people up off the street and shipping them off), B) they must have someone one the other end to take them in (they're not moving them from one street corner in one city to another) and C) they DO conduct follow-up checks for as long as several weeks to make sure the people or persons are getting along OK. I read the story yesterday online and it sounds fine to me. It's only if they WANT to leave that the wheels go into motion. Good for the people that want leave, good for the city financially speaking. What's the problem?

  19. A program like this could benefit us here in Chicago. I frequently meet people who are living homeless in Chicago who would like to return to family elsewhere in the country or world, but do not have the means to, so they remain homeless in Chicago. These people would have a home to live in and family or others to support them but just don't have the financial means to leave Chicago. I do not see this as a South Park type solution to homelessness - where homeless are just shipped out to be another community's issue to deal with, but a real and needed service.