Homeless programs & services budget in SF

One thing that caught my attention at the neighborhood meeting on homeless issues I attended this morning was Supervisor Scott Wiener saying that the city government spends $230 million a year on homeless programs and services, up from $160 million a year when he took office (he was elected in 2006), an increase of nearly 44%.

  If you've been here since 2006, have you seen a 44% improvement in the situation of the homeless? I don't think I have.

  Thought experiment... Let's say there are 10,000 people living on the streets of SF. Per the last homeless census, the actual number is much lower than that if I recall correctly, but I'll use an upper end estimate here. Even using this generous estimate, $230,000,000 ÷ 10,000 works out to the healthy sum of $23,000 per person. For this amount, the city government could rent each of them an apartment going for up to $1,800 per month, and have $2 million left over to pay for psychiatric services.

  That's not even factoring in all the savings that would result from people having a roof over their heads and not being on the streets: Police overtime, medical issues resulting from exposure, street cleaning, etc.

  You may not like the government coercively taking hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers to spend on the homeless, but as long as they're going to take it, isn't it better if that money actually helps them in a straightforward, easily measurable way, instead of just disappearing into the bureaucracy of myriad agencies and some of it eventually trickling down to those in need?

  Irony is...

  ...a mainstream San Francisco Democrat criticizing Republicans for believing in trickle-down economics while continuing to vote for the people who preside over this system.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))

P.S. - Here's the link to that Chronicle story from 2010 that I mentioned at the meeting, on how 1 in 3 city government employees in 2009 was paid over $100,000 a year (and it's a safe bet salaries have gone up since then -- see budget comparison in first paragraph above of 2006 vs 2015) -- http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-04-26/news/20868777_1_city-workers-city-controller-ben-rosenfield-overtime