An Interesting Take on Homelessness and Some Solutions(?)

Step 13 is an activist group that believes “Work works.”

The site clearly states its goals:

Want to get this guy off the street? Sober him up, clean him up and put him to work. Why? Because work works! It pays for food, it pays for shelter and it does something even more important: it gives a man the kind of self-esteem he needs to be a healthy, productive, member of society.

How do we know all this? From years of experience. What most homeless people need is help breaking an addiction and a way to build their self-respect. Blind compassion does nothing to promote their self-esteem and self-respect. Handing a dollar to a drunk just helps him stay drunk and any program that takes responsibility away from a capable person dehumanizes that person.

At step13 we nurture in each resident independence, individual responsibility, self-sufficiency and industriousness. We give a guy as long as he needs to turn his life around. As long as he follows three simple rules:

-No drinking or drugs –we give Antabuse daily as an added incentive to stay sober.
-He holds a job –if he can’t find one we’ll give him one at one of our in-house companies

Now some may be rolling their eyes. Another case of blaming the victim by the degenerative functions of conservative thought – blithely labeled as “compassionate conservatism.” I, however, find a lot of hope and good in programs such as this.

One of the central questions of any discussion of “justice” is the question of “desert.” The Left and the Right have markedly different views of what people deserve. Some of this is addressed in my article

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1 Response to An Interesting Take on Homelessness and Some Solutions(?)

  1. Sarah Hughes says:

    I like the idea that the way to get ‘self-esteem’ is to work. Are you transferring by any chance?

    My problem with what you write SoB has always been the fact that you see one answer for what you perceive everyone sees as a ‘problem’. There are many, many possibilities.

    I’ll let you into a secret, some tramps like it fine that way, some earn more in one day more than you and I could in one week. Issues are complex, difficult, intricate with many possibilities and with no real answers.


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