homelessness

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Covid-19 Exposes the Roots of the Homeless Crisis in our Cities

“The coronavirus has started to reveal some long standing truths about homelessness, about addiction, and about mental illness,” explains Christopher Rufo director of Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty. “For the past decade, policy makers have largely avoided these questions, or, largely been in denial about the causes of homelessness.” Read More ›
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The Harm in “Harm Reduction”

As cities in the United States, including San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, and Seattle, consider opening their own safe-injection sites, they should understand the full consequences of these practices. Read More ›
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The Human Face of Poverty

Please join us Thursday, May 28 at 12pm PST for an online lecture featuring Chris Arnade, author of Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America. Discovery Institute's Christopher F. Rufo will interview Arnade about the dynamics of American poverty, his long road trips through America's "forgotten cities," and the political dimension of anti-poverty policy. Read More ›
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Plot Twist

Homelessness has been circumscribed around a set of premises acceptable to progressive opinion. The homeless were thrown onto the streets, we’re told, because of rising rents, heartless landlords, and a lack of economic opportunity. But new data are undermining this narrative. Read More ›
Photo by sergee bee

Seattle Is Socialism’s Laboratory, and It’s Not Pretty

Democratic socialists are in the middle of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. Led by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and the “squad” of newly elected congresswomen, the hard-left coalition has laid out an ambitious agenda to transform the United States into a democratic socialist nation and Seattle has effectively become the nation’s laboratory for socialist policies. Read More ›
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An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis

By latest count, some 109,089 men and women are sleeping on the streets of major cities in California, Oregon, and Washington. The homelessness crisis in these cities has generated headlines and speculation about “root causes.” Progressive political activists allege that tech companies have inflated housing costs and forced middle-class people onto the streets. Declaring that “no two people living on Skid Row . . . ended up there for the same reasons,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, for his part, blames a housing shortage, stagnant wages, cuts to mental health services, domestic and sexual abuse, shortcomings in criminal justice, and a lack of resources for veterans. These factors may all have played a role, but the most pervasive cause of West Coast homelessness is clear: heroin, fentanyl, and synthetic opioids. Read More ›
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Seattle’s Revolt of the Elites

In Seattle, people are losing patience with city leadership over the homelessness crisis, but the frustration is running in both directions: the city’s political, cultural, and academic elites are conducting their own revolt — against the people. Since the release of Eric Johnson’s documentary Seattle Is Dying, which depicts an epidemic of street homelessness, addiction, crime, and disorder, city elites have launched a coordinated Read More ›

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A Brewing Rebellion in the Emerald City

For the past five years, like many of its West Coast counterparts, Seattle has endured a steady expansion of homelessness, addiction, mental illness, crime, and street disorder. But the activist class—a political and cultural elite comprising leaders in government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and media—has enforced a strict taboo on declaring the obvious: something is terribly wrong in the Emerald City. Last month, veteran Seattle reporter Eric Johnson of KOMO violated that taboo with a shocking, hour-long documentary called Seattle is Dying, which revealed how the city has allowed a small subset of the homeless population—drug-addicted and mentally-ill criminals—to wreak havoc. Johnson’s portrait is backed up by evidence from King County homelessness data, by city attorney candidate Scott Lindsay’s “prolific offender” report on 100 homeless individuals responsible for more than 3,500 criminal cases, and by my own reporting on the homelessness crisis. Read More ›
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When “Compassion” is Contempt

The Washington legislature is one step closer to legalizing homeless encampments statewide. Last week, Democratic lawmakers passed through committee legislation, introduced by Representative Mia Gregerson, that would usurp the authority of city governments and legalize camping in all “plazas, courtyards, parking lots, sidewalks, public transportation facilities, public buildings, shopping centers, parks, [and] natural and wildlife areas” throughout the state. Read More ›