Comment of the Day

The indomitable George again:

Lizzie Marvelly comment (NZH): “Cycle of homelessness can end”.
She claims:

“Before last July I had no idea how it felt to sleep out on the concrete in the middle of winter. I never knew that your bones ache, not just from the cold, but also from the constant contact with the hard, uncompromising surface. I didn’t know that the ground feels much colder than the air, or that sleeping in the city means being woken up almost hourly if you get to sleep at all. I never realised that sleeping outside with a group of strangers can activate ancient human instincts, leading you to cling to any person you know, regardless of how shallow or recent your connection. As the weeks roll by and we fall deeper into the winter months, more than 41,000 Kiwis have no place to call home. And in our proud little nation, we all know that’s not the Kiwi way.”

She then continues:

“There is a segment of our society that will assert that homelessness is a choice. I don’t doubt it is an honestly held belief but I am almost certain it is born of ignorance”.

She then claims:

“It is estimated that $65,000 is spent by taxpayers on each homeless person each year”.

And now her solution:

It’s called Housing First. A program that has been successful both in United States and Canada. “Where the cycle of homelessness stops”.

Where does one start?

First, there are not 41,000 sleeping on the streets. Second, if each homeless person has $65,000 spent on them, why are they homeless? Thirdly, to suggest the Housing First programmes have ended the cycle of homelessness in the US and Canada is absolute rubbish. But, most significantly, to suggest my opinion is most certainly “born of ignorance” is a statement of portentous arrogance. Emotive engagement erases logic, truth and fact. It is from that medium you write your column and, with it, you have compromised your credibility.