I didn't read, but would like to point out that in Los Angeles, purported homeless capital of the US, there is an abundance of food available and no one goes hungry except by choice.
I'd also point out that Los Angeles never runs out of beds/shelters. While there aren't enough to house everyone, there's enough to house everyone who will accept it.
The homelessness in Los Angeles is an utter farce where a community of drug addicts and mentally I'll are quite content in their squalor and more than happy to continue to receive daily food from the kitchens.
The bottom line is that corrupt "community organizers" profit by soliciting donations and government funds, the "homeless" soak the tax payers for disability, general relief checks, and SRO housing, the community suffers from the homeless crapping and pissing on the street, and the drug dealers get wealthy because every homeless person or SRO resident basically hands over their entire disability check.
There, I said it. Homelessness is a big fat fraud being perpetrating on dumb fat complacent bleeding hearts. Homelessness doesn't actually exist...at least not in any form that government spending could fix. Increase govt spending on the homeless by 100x in Los Angeles and there will still be the same number of people sleeping on sidewalks. Only thing that would happen is whomever runs the organizations that money flows through would be living in mansions and on tropical islands.
Hopefully, you will read the links. However, if you don't, they say that there are many homeless people in Los Angeles (and in America), and that there are also hungry people in California and the US. I encourage you to volunteer somewhere that serves this population - it will open your eyes.
Ellie, you misunderstand my point on food. My point was that for anyone that asks, there is food available.
My point absolutely was NOT that people ought to stop donating to organizations that feed the needy, but rather that no one is actually starving due to physical availability of food.
As far as the shelters are concerned, Andy Bale is a flat out liar, and clearly so that his organization can receive government money in the future as it had been receiving in the past. The representation of his statement is that there are large numbers of families that are homeless which is not true. Notice that no figures are cited in terms of numbers of families? Yet you could walk into say the Weingart Center...these guys.....http://www.weingartfnd.org/...located at 5th and San Pedro, say you are interested in making a donation but first you want to know how many homeless families they are currently assisting, and within a few minutes, they'll have a reasonably accurate answer for you. The other part Mr. Bale misrepresents is that somehow the people sleeping on the streets of downtown would accept housing, if it were available. Again, not necessarily true, and those people are not sleeping there because of lack of a bed to sleep in, but rather because they will not accept the terms of the shelters, or in some cases are mentally ill and won't stay indoors at all.
The truth of what happens in downtown LA when SRO housing is built for the homeless is that people from "community organizations" go talk to them, get them on state disability, and then the people are intentionally introduced to drug dealers. So what happens is they get off the street, a check for $950 a month, and housing that costs all of $80. They get fed by the mobile kitchens three times a day, hand all the rest of that check over to the drug dealers.
As to the concerns of the 20 year old in the SFV.....having lived in a roommate situation there, anyone employed in even minimum wage work can afford to rent a room in a home. My last such living situation was in mid 2010. I had a larger room and utilities, cable, and internet inclusive, I was paying $725 a month. The lowest cost room was $500/mo. If one was inclined to work 10 hours a week for the house owner just doing very marginal yard work(it was a huge property), they could have lived in the $500 room for $100/mo. That room was small, but did have its own full bathroom.
And that situation was not unique...in worse areas of the SFV, none of which are deadly, I have seen rooms as cheap as $325/mo. Cats are an issue. Dogs aren't.
As a social worker in Vegas, I guess the system is different there...
There are several food banks, but unfortunately they are spread all over town. If someone wants food (which they can access once every 30 days), they must travel to the food bank somehow and get it. The bus transportation costs, and so people often can't afford to get there to obtain the food.
Food stamps aren't available to everyone, and they're not easy to get due to long wait lines. If the office closes when you're in line, you come back the next day. If you don't have food in the meantime, not their problem. It takes a few days to process the food, again not their problem.
To receive benefits or get a job, one must have an address. Also, to get a job they have to have a way to reach you. Everyone doesn't have phones (supposedly there are "free Obama phones for all, but that's bullshit). That is important... but no address, no phone. No phone, no job. No job, no income.
There are homeless shelters that offer mail service to help with this, but so far as getting a bed there it's often that there's no room at the Inn.
You mention that "if one is inclined to work for the house owner doing marginal yardwork..." but most house owners want money, not workers. And many landlords want first month's & last month's rent. They also want references, which is hard to do when people are homeless.
Many homeless people are mentally ill or have addiction problems... that means that they might look or act "wierd" and therefore people won't want to rent to them. There's not alot of financial assistance, so they might not have the money. In Vegas, if you need financial assistance you need to go & stand in line at Clark County Social Services for a day (if you're lucky) but usually for two days. Then you have to present 30 job searches, that have to be for jobs for which they are actively hiring that the applicant could have had a chance of getting. The worker is required to call several of the places (or all of them) to verify that information. Then, you have to present a signed agreement with the owner of the property acknowledging that you are there and that you have the right to stay there for the amount that they'll pay (a little over $200 for a single person?) for 30 days. They make the $ payable to the landlord...
Since the workers are "graded" on the amount of denials that they issue, the system is horrible, demeaning and considering it's hard to find a place for that amount it's often futile.
The above mentioned financial assistance is limited to 3 times in a 12 month period. By the way, if the person is sick they might qualify for medical assistance, but they'll have to go through the same process above to obtain assistance.
Even working can be difficult if you are lucky enough to find a job, considering that public transportation might be their only option and that can be expensive to someone making minimum wage or less. Not every community has transportation - and workplaces usually have a problem with someone showing up in the summer all sweaty from walking a mile or two.
I realize that you have no sympathy for these people... but I do. Considering tht I have seen first hand the shit people have to go through, I really do have sympathy for them.