During a conversation this week I heard of a person who just quit his job. The reason given was the courts were garnishing too much money. The garnishment was for child support. He has fathered six children with six different women. It seemed unbelievable and ask the person who told the story the source of the information. The father of the children was the response. So, from the proverbial horse’s mouth.

So many questions.

Why was the father…

Why did the woman…

How did it get to this number…

How to prevent more…

When most conservative talking heads get this type of scenario, the conversation goes to family values and often to religion (e.g., abstinence). This is counter productive and while family values may help and religion is a valuable endeavor for many people, it should not shape policy. I don’t want Catholic policies any more than I want Baptist or Islamic policies. Focus on the problem.

If patient, a single mother will be taken care of by the government. She will get housing, food, medical and other necessities. It is a meager existence if the rules are followed. If the rules are ignored, opportunities can exist. Government housing, Section 8 and other government programs offer an independent living arrangement. Sometimes it is an apartment and other times it is a home, but no cohabitation is required.


Here is a draconian thought. House everyone who can’t afford housing in a barrack environment. Make them work a few hours a week to assist with meals, cleaning and maintenance. The stuff the rest of us do each week. Keep the rules basic and let the residents create their own rules. Have one or two on-site managers who help schedule and ensure compliance. Teach them life skills, help them seek employment and show them a path to independent living.

The current policy is not a deterrent. It does not make living on the dole undesirable. It requires no effort to achieve independent living. It creates an expectation that if a person does nothing, they will live independently and be provided things by the government. Instead of altering the policy and attempting to train and integrate these folks back into society, they are left alone to live independently.

It is wrong.

I read that a Western State Governor is going to request $800 million to battle homelessness. While it may sound great on the surface, homelessness is surrounded by drug addition, mental health issues, and other societal ails. Putting homeless people in an independent living situation does nothing to solve the problem. It is a poor bandage for a bad underlying policy. What is needed is guidance and a firm hand. They must work, stay clean, if necessary – take the meds, learn how to coexist, and assimilate. They must be given a chance, a real chance with appropriate support, but not a free ride. If they choose not to participate, they need to be moved to a place where they will not harm society, or themselves.

If it doesn’t happen soon, it will only get worse.

Categorized as Policy

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