The Things We Can’t Afford

It gets cold here. I suppose all the homeless people should just bootstrap themselves to somewhere warm:

While the 50-plus inches of snow we may receive will inconvenience a lot of us and perhaps drain the city’s snow removal coffers, if you live on the street, the freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions won’t be just another snow day. They’re life-threatening.

The 2012 budget passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this yearcuts funding for homeless prevention services by 52 percent, eliminating $4.7 million for shelters, emergency housing and transportation. Homeless advocates are fighting for that funding to be restored, but neither party seems optimistic about that happening.

Numbers from theChicago Coalition for the Homeless indicate that more people were turned away from homeless services last year than were taken in. That’s 45,673 turn-aways compared with 40,542 intakes. It’s a phenomenon sweeping communities throughout the region.


6 thoughts on “The Things We Can’t Afford

  1. It’s a sick society we live in when we take better care of our billionaires than we do the homeless.
    If OWS can keep their mojo going maybe we can turn this thing around at least a little bit.

  2. “That’s 45,673 turn-aways compared with 40,542 intakes.”
    –That’s over Twice the population of my hometown in MS.
    -That’s Busch Stadium on a slow night.
    –The largest marathon ever run was the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 with 38,708 entrants.
    –Laid end to end, those “turn-aways” would stretch roughly 54 miles.
    Hump? What hump?

  3. At this very moment, I have a chronically homeless, mentally ill, 68 year old woman sleeping in my relciner in the livingroom.
    She is not able to think or plan much further out than a few days, is noncompliant with her case workers, and appears to have a massive tumor of some sort in her belly. She was also recently pushed through a revolving door in a large city, now walks with a walker, and is terrified that someone is trying to kill her.
    I’m afraid she’s probably right, although not quite in the way she means. I’m not capable of telling a person in this condition to go live on the street in November.

  4. Not that this is a substitute for government aid by any means, but do you know of any coat donation sites which then give coats out to people who need them? I just bought a new one, which means there’s a coat in my closet that someone else could use now.

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