Homelessness In America

9 07 2020

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

This is the title of my newest law review article that discusses the tragedy facing the homeless in the United States, the richest nation on Earth.[2] 

Homelessness in America and globally transcends age, race, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliations, nationalities and political beliefs—and it is our problem, as human beings.

The homeless today exist largely in the shadows, trying to survive amidst depravation, humiliation and often staggeringly-difficult weather conditions with little or no money, food or shelter.

They are the elderly—with America’s Social Security retirement benefits being inadequate to cover the cost of housing—and families with young children; and they provide a broad spectrum and set of excruciating challenges.

Yet so much wealth may be nearby, in cities like Los Angeles, whose residents often avert their eyes from such sights like Americans did years ago when my mother was in a wheelchair, and people looked away from her.

Refugees from the war-torn Middle East, most notably Syria, have fled to the safety that they perceived in Europe.  Many of them have died along the route, as a result of what in Mexico are referred to as “coyotes,” or those who take money from and exploit refugees on a global basis.  Perhaps two young boys, Aylan and Galip Kurdi—who died in the waters near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, trying to escape—symbolize millions who have given their lives in the quest for freedom, safety and a better life.[3]

The global effects of the Coronavirus on the lives of the homeless may be catastrophic.  Many will not survive.  For those Americans who have never been homeless (except perhaps in their college years), and never thought they would be, the virus has changed lives dramatically, from an economic standpoint alone.  Vast numbers are out of work, and may never find jobs again.

 

 

© 2020, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-20-6-30). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Timothy D. Naegele, Homelessness In America, 137 BANKING L. J. 378 (July-August 2020) (Naegele July-August 2020) (Timothy D. Naegele) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/the-coronavirus-and-similar-global-issues-how-to-address-them/ (“The Coronavirus And Similar Global Issues: How To Address Them”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/remembering-the-comfort-women-victims-of-human-trafficking-and-slavery/ (“Remembering The Comfort Women, Victims Of Human Trafficking And Slavery”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/ (“Poverty In America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/ (“Human Trafficking”)

[3]  See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3219553/Terrible-fate-tiny-boy-symbolises-desperation-thousands-Body-drowned-Syrian-refugee-washed-Turkish-beach-family-tried-reach-Europe.html and http://www.wsj.com/articles/image-of-syrian-boy-washed-up-on-beach-hits-hard-1441282847 (“Image of Drowned Syrian Boy Echoes Around World”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11843440/The-power-of-photography-How-images-have-changed-world-opinions.html (“The power of photography: Images that changed world opinions”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/11847321/Police-officer-who-found-Syrian-toddler-I-prayed-he-was-still-alive.html (“Police officer who found Syrian toddler: ‘I prayed he was still alive’”)


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16 responses

9 07 2020
H. Craig Bradley

COVID-19 AS WRECKING BALL

Many Middle Class homeowners stand to lose their homes during a future wave of foreclosures. Job losses, business closings, reduced hours and pay, and a shift to work-at-home as an independent contractor rather than a salaried employee will impact the Middle Class. While some will thrive and rise up the ladder, a larger number will continue to struggle just to stay in-place.

Many more Americans may slide down a slippery slope into poverty. In general, Covid-19 won’t help middle class residents maintain their lifestyles in high cost regions like Calif. It will therefore reduce state and local government tax revenues, forcing the State of Calif. to find additional sources of tax revenue (increases). More Californians will leave for lower cost states if they can.

Liked by 1 person

9 07 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

Yes, I agree, Craig.

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9 07 2020
Susan

This essay shines a bright light on a situation that is so insidious I think many just don’t notice. It’s easier not to see it.

Working in a hospital for many years when I had patients who were homeless, they would often say they didn’t want to go to the shelters upon discharge. “They’re full of crazy people,” they’d sometimes say. Some had been robbed in shelters of their meager possessions or physically attacked. They preferred being discharged to the streets where they felt they were in control to a degree.

I grew up in the suburbs of L.A., and in the 1950’s and 60’s there were many factory jobs a less than stellar student could get. They would never get rich but they’d have access to healthcare and a retirement. Ford had an assembly plant in Pico Rivera.

Mental health problems seemed to mushroom on the streets when in the 1980’s the mentally ill, who were deemed not to be a threat to themselves or others, had the right to leave mental health institutions and live on the streets if they preferred. I recall a woman, so sweet and timid, maybe mid 30’s. She had some serious mental health problems. She hadn’t bathed or washed her hair in years because of her belief that even though others did it without harm, if she attempted to bathe the water would become scalding hot and burn her. I remember the day she walked out of the facility with nowhere to go, no one to help, no money, no ability to earn her way.

Mental health problems coupled with substance dependence and abuse as well as the hopelessness that runs so deep present a vast problem. How can this be addressed? How can they be helped? Because even if I buy a pre-made sandwich, an apple and a bottle of water to give to someone begging at the door of the market, that’s not a solution.

I am politically conservative. But to me what that means is I shouldn’t think this is the government’s problem to solve. It’s my problem. It’s yours. It’s ours.

Liked by 1 person

10 07 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments, Susan.

Clearly, one size does not fit all; and there are a myriad of issues facing the homeless in this country alone, leave aside those facing people in other countries. For example, war-torn Syria, and Mexico and parts of Africa where young girls become victims of human trafficking or sexual slavery, or they are killed and their body parts are harvested and sold.

The Coronavirus pandemic will force many into homelessness who never thought that they too would become casualties; and there will be an almost-endless list of competing demands for federal, state and local funding, as businesses are decimated, etc.

My article, and its companion June article about the virus (see https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/timothy-d.-naegele.pdf) cover a broad spectrum of issues, many of which are overlapping.

Will these issues be addressed, much less adequately? I have recommended that China must be forced to pay trillions of dollars in reparations/restitution for having unleashed the virus on the world, and having caused so much suffering in the United States and globally. Obviously, China can ignore the issue and blame the United States. However, Americans and those of other countries can “vote” with the pocketbooks, and refuse to buy anything and everything from China.

My concern, and presumably yours, is that if money was available to help the homeless, would it really reach and help them? Indeed, as I stated in my article:

[T]he author defies anyone – much less the finest trained lawyers in America – to pick their way through the bureaucratic nightmare that is the HUD-VASH Program, its forms and requirements.

. . .

If highly-skilled lawyers are unable to understand the gibberish, how can the homeless – much less homeless elderly veterans – be expected to do so?

See pp. 384, 389.

And I wrote the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing; and the national “Housing Allowance” program, which morphed into the Section 8 housing program that has helped millions of Americans.

Lastly, you cited those who “would often say they didn’t want to go to the shelters upon discharge. ‘They’re full of crazy people,’ they’d sometimes say. Some had been robbed in shelters of their meager possessions or physically attacked. They preferred being discharged to the streets where they felt they were in control to a degree.”

Imagine what happens to women and young girls like the “woman, so sweet and timid, maybe mid 30’s,” whom you cited. Tragically, rape may be the least that happens to someone like her.

Liked by 2 people

3 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.foxla.com/news/family-of-5-allegedly-attacked-by-two-homeless-people-with-machete-in-malibu-dad-loses-eye (“Family of 5 allegedly attacked by two homeless people with machete in Malibu; dad loses eye”)

So so tragic.

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8 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/08/politics/california-recall-homelessness-crisis/index.html (“California’s homelessness crisis is a key issue as voters consider recalling Newsom”)

As my law review article that was published nationally last year stated clearly and unequivocally, the homelessness issue must be addressed now. But simply throwing money at it will not accomplish anything.

Indeed, as is evident in California, it will anger voters, especially when many are turned off by government anyway, as the Coronavirus pandemic mutations return with a vengeance.

See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9964415/Mu-variant-detected-U-S-state-except-Nebraska.html (“Mu has been detected in EVERY US state except Nebraska: COVID variant which scientists fear is more transmissible than Delta and vaccine resistant hits US with Florida and California recording the most cases”) and https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-flu-season-is-expected-to-be-worse-than-the-last-one-threatening-hospitals-strained-by-delta-11631179980 (“The Flu Is Expected to Make a Comeback This Year, Threatening Hospitals Strained by Delta”) and https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/idaho-declares-statewide-hospital-resource-crisis-covid-surge-rcna1997 (“Idaho declares statewide hospital resource crisis amid Covid surge”) and https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/politics/biden-measles-quarantinable-diseases/index.html (“Biden signs executive order adding measles to list of quarantinable diseases after outbreak among US-bound Afghan refugees”)

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8 09 2021
H. Craig Bradley

ISOLATION IN AMERICA

Got a call this AM from a charity seeking money for homeless veterans. Yes, our veterans have no structured support network outside of their immediate family. Not all of them are supported by family or society at-large either. Its a lonely road for many of them. Poor people are often forgotten wherever you encounter them in the world. Seems its getting progressively worse around here in my lifetime. Most Californians just ignore it.

Larry Elder says or thinks he can tackle the homeless crisis, the high cost of housing, and a myriad of social ills here in Liberal Calif. I am afraid hardly anybody really believes Larry can single-handedly change much at all. So, the default vote is probably for Gavin Newsom, who seeks to give $16 Million in state entitlements to unvetted Afgan Refugees coming to Calif. Further tighten the one-party dictatorship of the Leftist Democrats in Blue States.

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8 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

Yes, Craig, it seems you have summed up the state of affairs in California, which is among the many reasons why Americans hate the state vehemently.

Before 9/11, vast numbers of Americans hated New York City too. Then, they witnessed the heroic and selfless efforts of firefighters and others.

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8 09 2021
H. Craig Bradley

Calif. Liberals Are Vicious

Just look what they did to Larry Elder today on-the-street.

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8 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

Of course they are, Craig.

I began listening to Larry on the radio years ago, when his delightful mother was alive and joined him on the show.

Win or lose, he is a voice of reason in this sea of madness.

See also https://news.yahoo.com/larry-elder-cuts-short-venice-221427765.html (“Larry Elder cuts short Venice homeless encampment tour after hostile confrontation”)

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8 09 2021
H. Craig Bradley

Imagine if a group such as the Proud Boys showed-up at one of Gavin Newsom’s political rallies and heckled him ? They would be arrested for hate crimes or disturbing the peace. Some charges would be thrown at them for sure. So, the system lets the trash assault the political competition. No police were to be seen. ( Probably told to stand-down). This means we now live in a fascist state. The Middle class is hiding from it. Krystalnach for conservatives might be just around the corner?

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10 09 2021
H. Craig Bradley

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO IMPOSE COVID “TRUTH” MANDATE

https://www.10news.com/news/coronavirus/california-assembly-follows-san-diego-county-in-declaring-medical-misinformation-health-crisis

https://bosagenda.sandiegocounty.gov/cob/cosd/cob/doc?id=0901127e80d85dbe

Ultimately, what will be the range of (possibly criminal) penalties for disregarding this County and now statewide “truth” mandate? What are the legal penalties in-store for those found to be spreading covid health misinformation to the general public? What about the anti-vaxers? Where will the government authorities quarantine (house) those found to be infected with Covid-19 variants in the future?

I suspect the answers to any of these timely, pertinent questions is simply too hard to handle by many viewers or readers. ( Its not a pretty picture ). Few Americans can “handle the truth”. You can run from it but you can not hide from what’s happening indefinitely. In the end, all must comply and conform, OR ELSE? For me, this is not America nor Freedom. How about communism version 2.0?

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10 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

Yes, I agree, Craig.

And once the “Mu variant” hits hard, things may be even worse; and the anger in this country may be “off the charts.”

NONE of the existing vaccines protect against Mu. Yet, Americans are being forced to be vaccinated.

As I have written, this may be the defining moment for the Biden-Harris presidency, and a harbinger of its end.

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10 09 2021
H. Craig Bradley

Please, Tim

Don’t be fooled into a state of complacency that the ongoing “civil war” is going to end any time soon, or our Freedoms in respect to Covid regulations will simply go away if Biden/Harris (Democrats) go away in future elections. Its a war on a state-by-state basis, a jurisdiction vs. jurisdiction battle and its far from over in my opinion. In fact, this civil war is only beginning.

As a matter of fact, I was walking down the sidewalk to a nearby Trader Joe’s in the Sparr Heights neighborhood in Northern Glendale, CA when I ran into a retired woman (mask on ) walking in the opposite direction. As we passed-by each other on the sidewalk, she detoured to the parkway and the curb, purposely avoiding me, as I DO NOT wear masks outdoors. She turned her head as we passed, and glared at me ( saw her out of the corner of my eye). This is yet only one example of the visible hostility expressed on occasion in our own neighborhoods and eventually, I expect a form of real violence to erupt, if it has not otherwise occurred.

Not if, just when. Places like Glendale, CA are full of fear and really bad attitudes, making it basically an unhealthy social environment. (Spoiled rotten, as well.) No good can come from these types of community attitudes. The Left, as the majority here, are vicious. I regard them as having a diagnosable anger management problem, at the very least. Psychotic otherwise.

Either we keep our freedoms or we lose them (all) and the outcome of this continuing and escalating “war” will become evident ( even to the Village Idiots) sometime during this decade, I predict. Calif. is already a lost cause or state, as the case may be. So, do not expect Calif. to become any kind of “Republic” again. Today, its become clearly a one-party, leftist Fascist state in the majority. In the end, either vote with your feet or suck it up. People don’t change, at least until a few more generations have passed. Very long cycles.

We look to just the Presidential election cycle but fail to recall what social changes have already occurred and what our state has become, in-fact, today, compared to just 30 years ago. As a native Californian, I do notice the changes and there is no denying them either. One thing is for sure, we are NOT likely to be able to turn back the clock. President Trump learned this hard lesson first hand during his one term in-office. Official corruption is far too embedded in the State and Federal Government to expect any return to what we once considered “normal” in just a single generation. That would be miraculous, IF it ever occurred. History suggest, its highly unlikely. So, make your plans accordingly.

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10 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Craig. That was a mouthful, but I agree.

While President Trump was not a neophyte in politics, my guess is that he was unaware of the depth of the insidious “woke” Left’s takeover of our national organs of government, leave aside the takeover of state and local governments.

As I have said many times here, when I left the U.S. Senate, I concluded that the Democrats were “evil” but smart, while the Republicans were “Neanderthals” and dumb. I have never changed that conclusion; and I have been an Independent ever since. Approximately 35-40 percent of Americans are Independents today.

The Democrats, JFK, the Kennedys and Chicago crime boss Sam Giancana were smart enough to rig the 1960 presidential elections in Chicago and West Virginia; and the Republicans were too stupid to stop them. They have been rigging elections ever since, and perfecting it to a fine art.

And yes, I have experienced what you did with the woman who avoided you because you were maskless. We had a fraternity reunion, which was wonderful seeing old and dear friends. One was a fraternity brother who succeeded me as class president. I had never met his wife.

Our discussions were delightful until I mentioned that I was a supporter of Donald Trump. Then, it was if the curtain fell, with a thud and not gently. In all of my years in politics, I had only experienced that once before.

I was at a fancy reception at a hotel in Washington, D.C., and I was talking with someone who had just come to town, and was trying to claw his way up the totem pole. In mid-sentence, he decided that I was not useful to him and his ambitions; and he ended the conversation, spun around and left. I never saw him again, nor do I know what happened to him, nor do I care one iota.

It’s different with my fraternity brother’s wife, because he has been a wonderful friend since college, and they have a successful marriage.

Our country is very polarized now. It may get much worse, as the Left sees the Biden-Harris presidency collapsing, which may be accelerated by mandatory vaccinations that do nothing to stop the Coronavirus’ mutations, most notably the Delta and Mu variants. The Democrats may get desperate, and act accordingly.

Lastly, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are “chess masters,” and they will seize any and every opportunity to undermine us. And Joe Biden is giving them a plateful of such opportunities. Assuming he does not finish his first term in office, his successors Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi are even worse.

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17 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://youtu.be/pyUGlCvfMcQ (“Streets of Philadelphia, Kensington Avenue ‘Highlight’ for the month of August on YouTube”)

This is a simple but very powerful video, which could be any deteriorating American city during the summer of 2021. How does one fix the seemingly “unfixable”?

See also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10001453/FAA-BANS-drone-flights-showing-10K-migrants-living-filth-Del-Rio-bridge.html (“Biden sparks NEW border crisis: 10,000 Haitians gather under Texas bridge in just a week after president quietly ended deportation flights to the country – FAA bans ’embarrassing’ drone flights overhead showing the squalid camp”) and https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/572712-more-than-10000-haitian-migrants-await-processing-under-bridge-in (“More than 10,000 migrants await processing under bridge in Texas”) and https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/politics/biden-measles-quarantinable-diseases/index.html (“Biden signs executive order adding measles to list of quarantinable diseases after outbreak among US-bound Afghan refugees”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10004201/US-nears-plan-widescale-expulsions-Haitian-migrants.html (“Border agents on horseback round up Haitian migrants after closing Rio Grande crossing where 15,000 have congregated under Texas bridge: First removal flight arrives in Haiti with up to EIGHT scheduled per day to deal with crisis”)

To begin with, our borders must be shut tight, so others do not burden a system that is in tatters already.

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