Based on what he’s wearing you’d think it was a winter shot, but I snapped this just a week back in Toronto’s renowned Yorkville. I’ve seen this guy around for years now, usually in the same park. I think he likes having his photo taken because when he sees me he always acts up a bit, posing and stuff. Not sure if he’s homeless but for sure he’s one of Toronto’s street people.
Coincidentally I just read an article about a project called Housing First, which argues that the best way to help street people is to first get them housing (regardless of their ability to pay for it), and then sort out their issues. The article claimed that for a mere $46 bucks a year Canada could eliminate homelessness. And this isn’t just theory, it’s been tried in the U.S. and some places in Canada to great success.
I tend to be conservative in nature, believing what’s best for society is smaller, more efficiently run and fiscally responsible governments; however, I’d certainly support this idea in a heartbeat.
There’s another even more interesting idea floating around, which is a guaranteed minimum income for everyone. Sounds expensive until you realize this program would replace all other social income programs such as unemployment insurance and welfare and such. Not sure if it would also replace old age pensions, but I suspect it would. As the theory postulates, it would actually cost society less money than what we are doing now. I guess in part because it would be one program run by one huge bureaucracy instead of dozens of programs run by a plethora of expensive government bureaucracies. Not sure if it’s been tried anywhere in the world but it sure sounds worth exploring.
Bottom line: As a society we need to stop shrugging our shoulders believing there’s no way to help the less advantaged beyond what we’re doing now, because what we’re doing now clearly is not working.