Thursday, April 20, 2006

"When we are working towards ending homelessness you really can't put a price tag on that."

Perhaps inspired by the upcoming National census, the city of Toronto is spending $90,000 to conduct a never before attempted census of homeless people in the city. The seven page "Street Needs Assessment" survey is expected to help the comrades at city hall end homelessness in their quest to make ALL dependent on the state. Anti-poverty groups are sceptical of the project, fearful that many homeless people will hide from the eager volunteers seeking to bribe them with $5 food vouchers in exchange for information, thus providing a false assessment of the actual number of homeless residing on the public streets. Equality is purchased at the cost of human diversity.

The Red Star spews its agenda:

The critics say officials are sure to under-count the number of homeless. Some will go underground and become inaccessible to social services and become even more vulnerable to diseases and other ills. The "lower than real" number will only embolden anti-homeless politicians and bolster their arguments to stop spending money on homelessness.

[..] Others fuss that the $90,000 could be better spent providing homes for the street people. Look, the city can't hold a meeting without it costing $100,000. That's just how it is. This will be money well-spent.

Toronto is spending more than $1.5 million on outreach workers who try to nudge the homeless off the street. It set aside $1.1 million for a new emergency shelter, including assessment and referral services. And $700,000 to fund a pilot program that assists homeless people discharged from hospitals.

This doesn't sound like a city that's short-changing the homeless crisis.

The city provides free wine to alcoholics in shelters at a cost of $43,000, and $20,000 worth of cigarettes each year. Do the critics of the census wish to find better ways to spend that $63,000?
No, it's not only the homeless that are "short-changed", but rather the individuals who are forced to pay for crack and booze for the designated downtrodden. Lost Budgie exposes the scam further, suggesting the census might lead to an inflated figure favoring the expansion of city hall:
On the night of Wednesday, April 19, 2006, some 1,700 volunteers will fan out across Toronto in an attempt to take a census of homeless people sleeping on the streets, in parks and at City of Toronto homeless shelters...

...and waiting for the volunteer census takers will be a small army of undercover investigators, actors and students posing as homeless people for the night. Students will be paid $110 for the night, while professionals will be paid more.

But although these "undercover homeless" people are designed to act as "controls" to enable auditing of the census, their very presence threatens to skew the data - because few of them will be alone.

"I'm bringing a friend with me" said "Mary" - who contacted Lost Budgie a few minutes ago with the story.

"I need the money, but I'm scared sh*tless to be out alone at night pretending to be homeless with a bunch of genuine stinky homeless people. Some of these people are on the streets because of addictions or because they have a record of violence and aren't allowed into the shelters anymore. I am scared sh*tless but I need the money."

So what will happen when a census taker talks with "Mary" and her friend?

Both the undercover investigator and her friend will be noted as homeless in the census - but only one will be a known control.
It is not clear how these fake homeless people are to act as "controls". Apparently the number of paid participants filling out false surveys will be randomly pulled from the pile of questionaires.

Unlike the national census, participation is voluntary, although volunteers can make up the answers if individuals fitting the stereotype refuse to comply with their demands. Lost Budgie provides a sample of the questions asked:
PART ONE (surveyors begin asking questions here)

1. Can I ask how old you are? _______yrs

IF UNKNOWN OR REFUSED, ESTIMATE BY THESE RANGES:
q 25 years or younger
q 26 to 49 years
q 50 years or older

2. Would you identify as __________ (observe and state gender):
q Male q Transsexual
q Female q Other (specify) _________________
q Transgender q Refused/No answer

3. a) Would you identify yourself as being Aboriginal?
q Yes q No q Refused/No answer

b) If yes, do you identify as: (read each answer)
q First Nation q Other (specify) ________________
q Inuit q Refused/No answer
q Metis

4.a) Are you on a waiting list for housing?
q Yes q Don’t know (go to Q5)
q No (go to Q5) q Refused/No answer (go to Q5)

b)If yes, what waiting list(s) are you on?
q Housing Connections q Don’t know
q Other (specify) _____________ q Refused/No answer
c) If yes, how long have you been on the waiting list?
q __________ days q Don’t know
q __________ weeks q Refused/No answer
q __________ months
q __________ years

d) If yes, when was the last time you updated your application or made sure you were still on the list?
q __________ days ago q Don’t know
q __________ weeks ago q Refused/No answer
q __________ months ago
q __________ years ago


5. a) Do you want to get into permanent housing?
q Yes (go to Q6) q Don’t know (specify)
q No (specify) q Refused/No answer (go to Q6)

b) If No or Don’t know, why? ____________________________________

6. Please describe the place you will stay tonight (check only one – prompt if necessary):
q Sidewalk q Coffee shop
q Ravine q Internet café
q Grate q Bathhouse
q Park q Shelter (terminate survey)
q Abandoned building q Friend’s house (terminate survey)
q Car/van/truck/trailer q Other (specify) _____________
q Transit shelter q Don’t know
q Under a bridge q Refused/No answer
q Parking garage

[..] VOLUNTEER CLOSING SCRIPT (please read):

That concludes our survey. Thank you for participating. Your answers will assist the City of Toronto better plan its programs and services for homeless people (provide gift certificate.)

Here is a card with information about Housing Connections if you want to get on the waiting list for housing or check the status of your application.

Do you need help getting shelter tonight? q Yes q No

(IF “YES”, TEAM LEADER TO CONTACT OUTREACH VAN. TEAM WAITS WITH PERSON FOR VAN TO ARRIVE. FIELD OFFICE CONTACTED TO LET THEM KNOW SOMEONE HAS ACCEPTED SERVICE AND THE TEAM IS ON HOLD WAITING FOR VAN. IF “NO”, CONTINUE WITH NEXT PART OF THE SCRIPT.)

I am leaving you with a card with information about Street Helpline and other services. If you want housing or shelter, call Street Helpline.
Thank you again for your assistance.

PART TWO

Person observed is: q On the street q In a park q On private property
q In another public space (specify)

PART TWO is used when (check which one applies):

The individual is sleeping and you think the individual is homeless
The individual refuses to participate in the survey and you think the individual is homeless
The individual seems to be incapable of participating in the survey and you think the individual is homeless

Demographic questions

1.Presumed Sex
q Male
q Female
q Transgender/Transsexual
q Unclear

2.Presumed Age
q Looks 25 or younger
q Looks 26-49
q Looks 50 or older
q Unclear

3. Reason for Thinking the Individual is Homeless and Unsheltered
q Carrying bags, backpacks, garbage bags, suitcases, blankets, shopping cart, sleeping bag and/or bedrolls
q Sleeping on the street or other public place
q Sign indicating homeless and requesting assistance/money
q Other (specify)

4. Reason for Thinking the Individual is Incapable of Completing the Survey (if that option was chosen above):

q Language barrier
q Behaviour
q Disability
q Sleeping
q No time/Too busy – on the move

30 comments:

Honey Pot said...

Holy shit Sherlock! All that money to find out that the homeless are drug addicted, mentally ill, or both. They don't want to spend any money on the root of the problem which is drug addiction, and the shutting down of the health care facilities for the mentally ill. Quite the combo they got going on there. They will never do anything about the drug thing. Way too many pharmaceuticals, legal and illegal, making money off of oxycontin and crack.

Pietr said...

Hey, HP!
I spent three months in a mental hospital in 1993.
I was treated daily to the sight of shuffling, gibbering cabbages in immediately close proximity!. I mean, what with the thugs in white jackets threatening to electrocute people's brains and a solicitor who wouldn't stick up for me, I thought "How wonderful!"
I only escaped twice; the second time I spent two weeks on a nature reserve a hundred miles away.
I thought that listening to the trains in the railway sidings and staring at shooting stars instead of threatening loonies was infinitely preferable, and I could eat when I wanted and do my laundry in a nearby village.
I thought I was safe and went and got myself a flat in town.That was when they found me; naturally they could not possibly consider what I wanted as I was 'sick' and a doctor had murmured something or other, so I was locked up again.
If I'd evaded for a month, the law would have declared me beyond their reach.
Still, it was all for my own good, eh?
I mean even the Police told them to get stuffed.
I mean, HP, what fucking planet are you on?

Honey Pot said...

Sorehead, give me a break. Apparently they didn't do enough electric shock therapy on you, because your thinking patterns are still way off. It is better to let them live on the streets like dogs? Eating out of garbage cans and being expolited by every crack dealer this side of the equator? They need caretakers and that is all there is to it. They cannot function in society, and it is fucking cruel to make them.

Part of the disease of schizophrenia is the inability to distinguish between reality and delusion. Part of the disease is not wanting to take the medication that keeps the demons away, and allows you to function. It is apparent you know nothing of what you talk about.

MapMaster said...

Honey Pot, your autocratic pretensions to pragmatism on everyone else's behalf are symptoms of an aggressively megalomaniac form of anankastic personality disorder. The bit about diagnosing Sorehead's reality is especially telling.

Don't you think that that bit about not wanting to take medication for a disease is a symptom of the disease is a neat bit of self-serving psychiatric autopoiesis? Are you taking it? By golly, you must have it too! Hey, so must I! I'm no Tom Cruise, but holy quack!

bonnie abzug said...

Honey Wagon, you're going to have to give up arguing with Mapmaster. You can't win. His vocabulary is immense. He clearly has a substantial mind. And this kind of substance defeats bullshit every day of the week. That it also defeats a whole list of other attributes - not all of which are as worthless - is beside the point. He's clearly well ahead of the curve. He's also well ahead of my copy of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (in 2 volumes).

MapMaster said...

And here I thought I was proletarianizing myself with the excessive use of exclamation marks!

Mike said...

I learned two great new things today from such dwellers beyond the curve:

1) that "cd -" acts like a Back button in the Unix shell; how many days altogether, in seconds at a time, have I wasted over the past decade not knowing this?

2) "anankastic". Who would have thought those letters in that order formed a word? Thanks Map.

Honey Pot said...

Ok so the guy could beat me at a game of scrabble, big deal. So he thinks I have a anankastic personality disorder. Well I think he is fucked up. I guess that makes us even. I think being able to communicate to the masses is more important. Everyone knows what fucked up means.

Pietr said...

I survived pretty well, actually, and had a lot of fun.
For instance, I shorted out all the electronic doors in the hospital and went for a long walk to the music store one morning; but some things are just sad.
I had to go and get my pills every week for a while.(Outpatient).These I immediately flushed, but there was this bright black guy that used to have long, poetic discussions with me.
One week I went in and he was practically drooling-ie chemically lobotomised for being 'disturbing'.

Now HP,I'm sure that that is just exactly what you have in mind for all those people on the streets, right?
Crush their individuality and turn them into sausage-units that inhabit shelters and shuffle and murmur?
They'd still be mad, only mad your way, instead of roaring and wandering about.
Giving authority to doctors? Why not give grenades to all the mad people?It's almost as dangerous.
Doctors can order people to be locked up.
Pinky is a (see Owlsarentwise)doctor. Harold Shipman was Britain's worst mass-murderer.He was a doctor.

Socialised medicine makes MDs into an extension of state policy;Winston Churchill faced abuse when he suggested that a Labour victory in 1945 would see the establishment of a secret police;but doctors can order the regular police to arrest people they consider mad.
Such as Anatole Sharansky, for instance.
They are the Gestapo to the uniformed Kripo.
And now, with smoking bans, they are ordering the government around as well.

Damn right, they should leave people the hell alone.

Pietr said...

Oh, and by the way, I know what I am talking about.Schizophrenia is a collapse of consciousness that robs the mind of identity.
I was diagnosed as a 'paranoid schizophrenic'.My demons happened to be nothing more than 'dark forbodes' based firmly in the implications of real events.
I've seen people madder than I ever was being taken quite seriously when talking about, for instance, Torah interpretation of 911.

If you want to get people off the streets(which is where they want to be, as an alternative to the healthy paradise I described)you might start by allowing them to give a damn about something, anything, without declaring them insane.
As for 'crack-dealers', what do these street-people pay them with?
Sea shells?
What?They work for the dealers?But I thought you said they couldn't hold a job?
In 1999, I was wandering the streets of Toronto;I got into conversation with a bag-lady.I was mad.My credit card was blocked.She said"Maybe they're doing it to protect you."
That was sensible.Nearby, other 'bums' were washing windscreens for money.
I offered her a can of Canada Dry.She refused.Apparently in the Summer heat of 1999, Canada Dry made you more thirsty.
More good sense.

Still, round them up,eh?

Honey Pot said...

You have been watching,"One flew over the cuckoo's nest," haven't you Sore?

Were there abuses in the mental health care facilities? Of course there were, and probably still is. Abuse is everywhere, hard to escape it, when you are vulnerable to it. I would say a mentally disturbed person would be a very easy target.

Should we allow it? No

How do you figure they benefit from being put on the streets with a distorted sense of reality. Who is going to rent to them, except some sleazy scumlord, who has them sign over their cheque to him. They can't go in restaurants, they are chased away. They are kicked off buses, and out of public establishments. They can't go to the police when they have been violated because they are incoherent, and a judge will just throw it out of court.

Who is going to hire them? Y

What will you come back with Sorehead? The final solution? No one speaks of it, but that is exactly what many would like to see happen.

Pietr said...

Speaking as someone who was only recently officially discharged, I would say that giving authority to physically detain and forcibly treat 'mentally ill'(intellectually other?)people to doctors is in itself a victimisation which creates vulnerability.

It was only when I bought into the whole 'caring' fraud that I became vulnerable to the sort of people that infest such schemes like flies on shit.
I have ignored over twenty psychiatrists, all my family, most of my friends and have been in continuous employment for the past twelve years since the year after my committal.

Here is something straight from the horses mouth; delusions are like bush fires threatening to consume your identity,but if you have yourself under tight control you can fight them very effectively.
Drugs kill the fires,but they also kill the identity, so while they may save your life, life isn't worth living.
It's like using saturation bombing to halt an attack but you kill your own men too.
Drugs produce a draw, and a draw in human terms is a very sad outcome that leads to all sorts of psychological dependency, which is yet another vulnerability.
And yes, most of my employers are aware of my situation, but only because I told them.

If you want a practical policy, how about this:hold places in normal housing open for nutters, but don't give it to them unless they voluntarily agree to try the treatment for a trial period.

And strip doctors of any authority.
Most non-organic(eg Altzheimers is organic)mental illness is caused by psychological terrorism and applied force.
You don't cure coercively induced psychosis with coercion.

Pietr said...

Back again.
I have to cause yet more damage to the image of victimhood, as I rediscovered fun tonight.
There is a rich, accessible seam of it in Leeds city, near the railway station.
Even the police were enjoying themselves(but don't tell anyone!)

Honey Pot said...

That is wonderful that you healed yourself without the help of one other person. Remarkable you found employment, and your boss and co-workers are so accepting of your psychosis.

Now click your heels together Dorthy, and let us take a look at reality.

The chances of someone suffering from psychosis finding decent housing, a job, or the ability to know it is time to come in out of the rain is...well it is slim to nothing.

Pietr said...

You say.
So next time it rains you will forcibly detain all the wet people and inject them with 'major tranquilisers' to make the sensible!
According to you.
What the hell is it of your business anyway?
What's the real agenda beyond your 'caring'?

Honey Pot said...

Nothing really. It would be much easier to be like you, and not care about anything except one's self. I ask myself every once in awhile why I care. Perhaps because I am female, and it is innate. Just as you find me odd because I do care, I find you cold, and strange because you don't.

Sore, don't you have a mother, father, sibling or even a gerbil that you would fetch a cup of water for, if they were thirsty and couldn't get it for themselves?

Pietr said...

Beware doctors!
They're smarter than you think!
They were smart enough to catch me!

Lisa said...

HP;

Individuals such as Sorehead and myself do care about people, which is why we don't advocate the appropriation of wealth by the government, and the subsequent redistribution of that wealth to special interest groups perceived as most likely to support the current regime. Besides, it doesn't matter whether a person "cares", but only that they don't aggress against others.

As usual, when your "arguments" are exposed as trash, you lapse into hysterical emotionalism.

Honey Pot said...

Lisa get out of town! you don't care about anything except your pocket book. You know as hard as you may try, you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.

I guess you consider my making fun of you, and Sore as hysterical emotion. It is a great emotion, joyful glee, at watching you cold fish advocate for a world where only the meanest sonsofbitches' survive.

Pietr said...

How 'mean' is threatening people with guns and prisons if they don't pay for your schemes?

Honey Pot said...

Oh come on you big mean baby. What skin is it off your ass if the collective feel a need to look after the vulnerable? Greed might be your focal point, but for lots of others it is not.

Start some kind of an opting out of civilization group. Get a bunch of mean rich fuckers together, and start your own cult. There is still crown land in Canada. Go lay claim to it, and start your own meaner than fuck village, or something.

The only real measure of a civilized, and intelligent society, is the way in which they take care of their most vulnerable.

Lisa said...

HP:

How the fuck do you know what I care about? Have you ever met me? You say I'm mean, and yet in this comment thread you have indicated, by your ignorant and callous comments regarding Sorehead's suffering and subsequent efforts to improve his life, that it is you who is uncaring and cold. Apparently your care bear mentality only extends to the welfare line.

Don't you care about your pocket book? Do you give all of your earnings to the poor or are you selfish enough to keep some so you can buy groceries? Perhaps your grocery store is the food bank.

You might be suprised to know that I have contributed money to people in need before, voluntarily, and would likely contribute more, if a good portion of my wage wasn't redistributed to support bread and circuses. You keep going on about the vulnerable in society, but where do you think the money comes from to support the programs designed to end poverty? The mean rich fuckers. Well now, what happens if they do leave the land of collectivism?

You say:
I guess you consider my making fun of you, and Sore as hysterical emotion. It is a great emotion, joyful glee, at watching you cold fish advocate for a world where only the meanest sonsofbitches' survive.

The hysterical emotionalism I refer to is your inability to reason. You are free to "make fun" of whomever you wish, and we are free to ignore you. Consider yourself ignored.

Pietr said...

What is the real agenda behind your caring?
Thanks for answering that.
You maintain an illusion of benevolence(aggressive sympathy?)while doing down actual people.
I guess that you know by now you won't fool anybody else, so it must be for your own benefit.
The weaker your position, the more you scream.
If this was a conversation, you would have degenerated into incoherent roaring by now,'my way or no way'.
Now we'll deal with the little lie you slipped in in a sly moment;I have no objection to people helping themselves,singly or together.
What is 'skin off my ass' is when they presume my big, glorious, sunny life, is devoted to their scheme.
If you can't sell it to me, don't make me buy it.

Honey Pot said...

Geez Lisa, sounds like you and Sore just had an hysterical emotional moment. This is a good thing though, didn't think you had one in you except your disdain for the poor and vulnerable. It looks like you two really care for each other. As much as you too are capable of caring. I bet if you were on fire, Sore would piss on you to put it out.

Lisa, I find it hard to believe you would donate money to anyone in need. Wouldn't that go against your doctrine of "let the fucker's starve, they are wasting space on the planet."

I am capable of reasoning, I just don't agree with letting people starve and suffer. I just couldn't be like you Lisa. I couldn't enjoy my steak tar-tar, with a hungry child peeking in the window watching me mow it down.

I congratulate Sore on pulling himself up by the bootstraps and overcoming his psychosis, without the support of anyone.

I also think he is full of shit.

Sore if this were a face to face oral conversation, you would be in the corner crying with your tail between your legs.

Pietr said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pietr said...

What makes you think I'd choose to talk?

Pietr said...

By the way, have you ever thought of becoming a Psychiatric Nurse?
There are plenty of gentle souls among the mentally ill that you could really send to a corner in tears.
That would make your fantasies real,eh?

And your nature.

Honey Pot said...

Are you talking about those mentally ill, gentle souls, that are not strong like you, and incapable of overcoming their mental illness, as you did Sore?

Don't you think someone should just give them a good kick in the ass, and tell them to get out there and fend for themselves? If you can do it, why can't they? They must be lazy and weak eh Sore?

Get out of here with your fucking bullshit, pretending you care about anyone except yourself, and your pocket book. You greedy little knob gobbler.

Shouldn't you be ignoring me Sore? I thought you got orders to ignore me.

Pietr said...

Hi Lisa.How's the weather?
You seem to have a few ThunderFlies trapped under the screen.

Lisa said...

Hello Sorehead;

It is cold and mean here in foggy London.