I think there’s a much, much simpler explanation: Americans have a weird sense that if someone gets something for free, they’ve lost something. Therefore, homeless policies are often riddled with catches that ensnare people. Because on a gut level, many people don’t want to solve the homelessness problem if it means giving someone something for free. They might say they do. They might bicker that homeless people are on the street. But they don’t want to pay for it up front.

They’d rather pay for it later on when the person needs health services or the police or gets locked in an asylum. Because that’s perceived as beyond their control. It’s like the most fucked up version of the Trolly Problem ever. Do you throw the switch and pay less money for a homeless person now, but you give them something for free? Or do you do nothing and get billed astronomically more money for it later, but...you can claim you didn’t have a hand in it, that it wasn’t an intentional act?

I think this perfectly suffixes to explain it. No conspiracy theories needed.

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It was a confluence of agendas that sparked our homeless situation. While institutions felt dehumanizing and invalidating of patient voice, Regan was delighted to cut funding to the state hospital system. This timing set the stage for our current nightmare.

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