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Reader: Stop subsidizing the behaviors of the homeless




Peter Sorrentino wrote, "The causes of homeless are many and varied, which is why it is such a hard issue to tackle in any city" ("Don't blame marijuana," Letters, April 11). I would agree that the causes of homelessness are many and varied, but there are some simple solutions that should be tried. When governments at the local, state and federal levels subsidize behaviors associated with homelessness, you will get more homeless people on the streets.

A good example of how governmental programs subsidize poverty and homelessness can be found in the state of California. According to an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, California has 12 percent of the U.S. population and 33 percent of the nation's welfare recipients. The Orange County Register reports, "Welfare recipients would see little tangible improvement in their standard of living by taking up a job, working more hours or moving up the job ladder." California provides more governmental assistance to the poor than any of the socialistic countries in Europe except Denmark.

The city of Colorado Springs and its citizens have to stop subsidizing the behaviors of the homeless. I have a friend who found a homeless person living under a bridge and gave him a job that paid $10 per hour. The guy worked for four days and quit because he said he could earn more money from handouts at stop lights and he did not have to pay taxes on his gifts.

Let's do an experiment! Starting May 1, the City Council passes an ordinance prohibiting all citizens from giving handouts and let's see what happens to the numbers of homeless people in our fair city.

— Sam Taylor, Colorado Springs

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