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To Deal with Homelessness, We Need the Police

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To Deal with Homelessness, We Need the Police

National Review Online June 16, 2022
Policing & Public SafetyAll

The conception of law enforcement as only ever counterproductive in dealing with homelessness is misleading.

Homelessness is, without question, a complex problem. For someone to wind up on the streets, many things had to go wrong, with respect to lifestyle choices, dysfunctional government programs, and broader societal breakdown. As to what should be done, the debate tends to be straightforward. Some call for more housing. Others call for more law enforcement.

That debate was central to recalling San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin. Progressives chalked up the recall to voter ignorance, the exaggeration of crime (said to be not as bad in deep blue cities as conservatives allege), and the conflation of crime and homelessness (which prosecutors should have no major role in, since they are parts of the criminal-justice system). The dominant progressive view on homelessness is that it’s a housing problem best handled by the experts who know how to finance, build, and manage subsidized housing. We can’t arrest our way out of homelessness.

Continue reading the entire piece here at National Review Online

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Stephen Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal.

Photo by welcomia/iStock

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