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a cure for the homeless?

 
gardener
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I think we overlook "new" too often in favor of "old time"

imagine this programmed to build "tiny houses" for the homeless

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3711198/Bad-news-Bob-Builder-Watch-Hadrian-X-robo-builder-create-entire-house-just-two-days.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

Bad news for Bob the Builder: Watch Hadrian X the robo-builder create an entire house in just two days
It can lay 1,000 bricks an hour and work around the clock, 24 hours a day
A robotic 'hand' lays the brick, and applies  adhesive instead of mortar, which improves the thermal efficiency
It 3D scans its surroundings to work out exactly where to place bricks - and is simply parked next to site


 
gardener
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Cool. Though, we have plenty of shelter places. Old brick buildings, etc. but heating and food is a problem since it gets cold here. Of course, shouldn't take much to build a rocket mass in some of these old places using local bricks and planting permaculture forests...we're working on it... slowly...
 
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Of course, there is another cure for the homeless. Cultures considered "primitive" are materially poor by our standards, but their societies are structured in such a way that everyone is integrated into the social safety net. How can one be homeless if it is assumed that one is taken into the home of extended family? I have many times in my adult life moved back in with one family member or another when I fell on hard times; that is the reason I have not had to live on the street. Rugged individualism is just another form of egoistic pride.
 
pollinator
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I doubt "homelessness" is a technology problem. It's a personal and social and civic problem. IOW, it's a human problem - comes with people.

I guess I should cop to an extreme prejudice: Human distress in one shape or another cannot be eliminated. Ever.

Jason pointed out a very successful and traditional way people have dealt with this particular issue for... ever. I'd bet it has the highest return and lowest unanticipated costs of any "solution" proposed, now or ever. But it's not w/out cost.

I cannot imagine technology "solving" the problem, unless you consider "solving" the problem to be something like the automobile solved the problem that people couldn't get around fast enough... Right.


Regards,
Rufus
 
pollinator
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Not only is homelessness  “not a technical problem”, it is either like an “end stage condition” of, and/or comorbid with other conditions/circumstances such as mental illness, physical/sexual/mental abuse, PTSD, not fitting some societal norms.

There’s a doctor in California who prescribed “housing” for homeless patients who habitually sought/required emergency room care for medical problems, most of which are avoidable, especially if you have a stable “home”. This cost less than ER care and made it possible (with some help from social work) for these people to go to regular doctors and manage medications, have an address to receive mail....

Jason, the family route is great if you’ve got it...

Family can also be the root cause (having been through this with my brother and father).
 
pollinator
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Judging by the buildings going up near me, I would say that brick laying is not a "slow" part of the progress. They seem to get a house from foundation slab to brick shell and roof structure in about 10 days. The slow part is all the fiddly finishing.
 
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I think in most cases the really slow part is figuring out who has to pay for it and then actually paying for it if you're doing it yourself. I could easily produce suitable shelters in this city at $1,000 a piece. But the average building lot is worth somewhere around $700,000. So there's nowhere to put them.

I have hired hundreds of homeless and semi homeless people. Drugs and mental illness seem to be the main determining factors. When provided with a home, many will fail to go there or they will quickly destroy it or make life incredibly difficult for neighbors.

I hired a quite belligerent fellow last week. He has had trouble finding housing that can accommodate his chain-smoking and his Pitbull. He also can't find any job that doesn't irritate him immensely. He complained full-time at everything I had him do,  so our relationship lasted 4 hours. Incredibly difficult personalities seem to be one of the main things that keep some people from finding permanent housing.

During his four hours working on my job, he delivered a constant monologue concerning what Society should be doing for him and how everything should be. My dad was a slumlord in Ontario. He had to get rid of a few tenants because of this inability to shut up.
 
pollinator
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Yes, give the unskilled nature of the work, I'd rather pay the homeless person to build his own house, rather than the expensive robot - it costs less AND gives opportunity to teach skills, workplace safety, and job expectation.
2-for-1!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:Yes, give the unskilled nature of the work, I'd rather pay the homeless person to build his own house, rather than the expensive robot - it costs less AND gives opportunity to teach skills, workplace safety, and job expectation.
2-for-1!



I doubt that 10% would build anything suitable. Many would waste the materials by cutting everything all wrong and being generally clueless. Others would attempt to sell it. So it would require supervision from beginning to end. It could certainly help to instill pride in where they live but I don't anticipate it being a cheap way to build. If the guy in my earlier post was assigned to help me build a shelter, I would have to charge a bit more than if I had to do it on my own. Babysitting fee.

I witnessed a different type of homelessness in Cebu Philippines. There are many squatter camps where people have cobbled together somewhere to live for free. The people are mostly economic migrants from small villages. They are in the squatter camps simply due to economics and not necessarily because of vices or mental illness. Because of this, many find their way out of that life relatively quickly, once they find decent employment. Of course there are alcoholics and drug addicts amongst them, and they tend to have no plan to move on.

The contrast in these two homeless situations, North American and Filipino, tells me that the North American problem won't be solved simply by providing materials or space. That's because so much of it is rooted in substance abuse and mental disorders.
 
Dustin Rhodes
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Unfortunately true, Dale - we can teach skills, and provide resources and encouragement all we want, but we can't teach ethics or self-reliance - those characteristics have to be wanted and invested in by the person(s) themselves.  
 
pollinator
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We will never "cure" homelessness because there will always be some due to mental illness and drug addiction who just can't keep it together to live in building.

Now we could solve a lot of the homeless in a very easy way. By giving the the ability to get homes for free to next to nothing.

Around the country there are huge amounts of abandoned buildings. East of the Mississippi there is enough 40+ bed room mansions that are abandoned to house the entire US homeless population with 1 person per mansion. There are endless row houses, 2-3 bed room houses, whole neighborhoods of suburban homes. Not to mention all the industrial and commercial properties.

There is such thing as squater's rights, which is supposed to be there to let neglected property become claimed by someone who will use it. But that system is broken, there are so many hoops to jump through to get it. And the entire time you are trying, your breaking the law and trespassing. You could work really hard fix a place up, almost get through the squatter's right hurdles but then get kicked out because the owner comes in to claim the neglected property now that you made it nice. This system doesn't work, because one of the hoops to jump is occupying the place for some amount of years some states it is 2 yrs, but 5-10 is more common. That is a long time to be in legal limbo.

So here is the easy fix to homelessness. Quit letting people hold onto property as a tax right off. This goes too for all the properties owned by banks and corporations that are left neglected. In the first round, literally just start giving away any of the properties that could be immediately occupied. Immediate and sudden mass housing of people in need. Then auction off the properties that are in need of repair to people pledged to actually repair them. Use that money to help those just housed pay utilities. Auction off the commercial properties, to help grow small business. Use the money to help those housed with job training. Auction off the industrial sites to those dedicated to cleaning, demolition, or restarting industry in. Use the money to help clean superfund sites.

Homelessness mostly solved. As well as fixing the problem of rundown neglected buildings filling urban areas. Also adding infusion to small business and industrial waste clean up to really help fix the disaster areas so much of urban areas have become. This all of course wouldn't have to be limited to urban, but that is where you see the most impact and most homeless. In more suburban and rural areas there impact would be spread out more. Distinction between vacation home and abandoned would need to be made, etc... But over all I think it would work. But I suspect most Americans, especially those who owned these places would scream bloody murder for taking property they don't use.

I also think that this sort of thing should be done with agriculture and raw land. Though with a bit more understanding of letting land rest, saving for retirement, holding for it to go natural, etc... But with some good thought there should be a way to create a use it or loose it for land.

One of the really good things about this concept is it would allow land to actually get to people. It would break the landlord serf paradime that has been going way too long. And the best in my book is it takes from the rich and gives to the poor. Not just a hand out but an investment in the future. You are no one if you don't own land. So much of America is trapped in renting. Their entire life they never own. This idea could break that cycle.
 
Dustin Rhodes
pollinator
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Devin, this is a really well reasoned potential solution, and you will agree with it until they come and squat on YOUR land; then you will say, "what right do they have to get my land for free, when I scratched and saved, and worked my life away to earn it?"

"Someone else make the sacrifice, but not me" is the clarion call of a certain political movement right now, and people will think it works great until it's time for THEM to be forced to make sacrifices of their own - it's unsustainable.
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:Devin, this is a really well reasoned potential solution, and you will agree with it until they come and squat on YOUR land; then you will say, "what right do they have to get my land for free, when I scratched and saved, and worked my life away to earn it?"

"Someone else make the sacrifice, but not me" is the clarion call of a certain political movement right now, and people will think it works great until it's time for THEM to be forced to make sacrifices of their own - it's unsustainable.



I don't think you read my post fully.

The idea is not to take land away from those using it. It is a use it or loose it concept. To keep people/corporations from hoarding land and the property ownership just accumulating to the richest.

So no, I would not be worried about people squatting my land. Because if my idea was implemented then they wouldn't need to (it is not a squatting idea, it is a property recycling idea), they could get the unused land down the road. I specifically said a much more involved method would be needed for farm and raw land. Since that type of land is regularly left fallow, or being held to build a retirement cabin at a future date, even being left to go wild as a private conservation. So for farm and raw land the rules would be much different.

As for the urban stuff (which honestly is where the majority of homeless are), sorry but 99% of that is not someone who scrapped to buy it. It is extremely wealthy people who buy it as a tax right off. Amazing buildings with historic value are left to rot because it makes for a good right off. Entire suburban neighborhoods left 80-90% finished because the developer went bankrupt. These abandoned buildings become eye sores, places for crime and drug use, breading grounds for pests, dangerous places as they decay, potential fire risks, etc... We need to stop letting people own property they never use have no intention of using, and give it to people who would actually appreciate it.

My idea would actually make it easier for people to acquire land and property, making it cheaper for people to get their own little piece of the pie. They would not have to scratch and save like they used to. Because what has inflated land prices is people holding onto and buying everything up to the point there is little to nothing left. My plan would put land back into circulation. And it isn't a get it for nothing. I clearly stated to auction it off a bunch. The first round would be a give away of places that are immediately livable to get the homeless off the streets and into homes. But there is a lot more places that are not livable and those would be auctioned with the agreement of the place has to be repaired.

*edit to add, the reason for the immediate give away of the livable places is property left too long deteriorates quickly and becomes unlivable. So the quickest way to get homeless into homes is not to make them pay (if they had money they likely wouldn't be homeless) but instead get as many as possible in the places ready to be lived in. Sadly plenty would end up back on the streets, due to mental illness or drugs. But enough would become productive members of society having gotten that little help up. 80% of Americans are 1 missed paycheck away from homelessness. Because they are so in debt and living life credit card payment to credit card payment. One missed paycheck is all it takes to spiral down into losing it all. These are not bad people, but families, neighbors, students, working class laborers, average people who are teetering on the edge. A lot of homeless are the people who slipped over that edge.
 
pollinator
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Near me they have turned multiple shipping containers into duplexes with shared bathrooms, these are provided free of charge for homeless people and social services are brought to the site to help people find the help they need (mental health, drug addiction, job retraining, etc...) instead of expecting them to find their way to the social services complex. In about two years I believe they have gotten a little over 100 people through and into a more permanent situation, either employed and housed or into some sort of social program that addresses their specific issues.

The woman who is behind the project is a big proponent of the importance of getting people off the street and into a safe and stable environment BEFORE attempting to assess and address the underlying issues that led them to homelessness in the first place.
 
Kenneth Elwell
pollinator
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Devin, you are correct to point out the tenuous financial situation that a lot of people are in, which along with other problems they may be struggling with, doesn't provide much hope for them being able to maintain a disused property any better than the current owners. A tough sell for a taking by eminent domain, as if that was ever easy...

The "triage" model that Stephen Lowe describes, solves the immediate housing need, and sets each person/family on a path towards treatment and stability... while concentrating the effort and resources of the social services involved.
 
pollinator
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Kenneth - it is happening though, in Oakland, California, there are agencies that will help you establish squatters rights by making improvements to abandoned properties. So while it may be unlikely in areas without sky high rents, around here it's totally doable. And we have a lot of abandoned properties, and empty lots in the East Bay.
 
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Like the discussion! These links will enlighten you all!.
😀Watch "Tour of Ithaca's Tent City Where Homeless People Survive in the Freezing Cold" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/rZjoHWARvjU
 
master steward & author
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This conversation has wandered into the policial.  

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this thread is now locked.
 
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