By Vern Wuensche
The homeless often already have tents. But they are located in the wrong place. They need to be moved. A good process with strong management will be necessary to solve the problem. The first step will be to evaluate and classify them according to their condition. The second would be to transfer them to a place where they can be cared for accordingly. A pleasant nature setting on acreage outside a city would be ideal. On federal land would be better with food at least partially provided by the government’s surplus food inventories.
The classification should be into four categories:
Those with severe mental conditions who are dangerous to others, whether on drugs or not.
Those who are drug addicts but not dangerous.
Those who are not drug addicts but who do not wish to work.
Those who have a poor economic situation but who wish to work.
The Army Corps of Engineers should prepare for them by building four fenced-in facilities, each with controlled ingress and egress. Then all the homeless should be moved there according to their classification, with the most dangerous moved first. Some may consider the facility to be “the pen,” but in reality, it could be in a pleasant and positive nature setting with fresh air and trees.
There will be resistance and Constitutional issues raised. But the resisting homeless should be advised they are being arrested for violating current laws on vagrancy, illegal drug possession, and indecent exposure. It should be noted that their living conditions would be no different than military members out in the field controlled by their superiors.
Those who are dangerous and have severe mental conditions would likely require a particular facility built within the fenced walls and would be cared for by those with the skill to do so. Those addicted would be cared for with a system of reducing their dependence on drugs—a tough love drying out. Those simply lazy would be fed but given no other benefit with their freedom restricted. Those who wished to work could be employed by helping the caregivers or placed elsewhere.
At an earlier time, with mental institutions available, deaths caused by patients were virtually nonexistent. Today in the guise of being kind to patients, many, many innocent victims have been murdered by them one by one and in mass shootings. This approach is not kind. Any responsible government’s first duty since the beginning of time has been to protect those under its care.
The above approach could be instituted in one city with competent and tough administrators having a business background who are accustomed to focusing on achieving results. They could evaluate successes and flaws in the system and make adjustments to benefit everyone. This process is employed every day in all businesses with great success.
Vern Wuensche’s opinion pieces have appeared in USA Today and other newspapers. He is a small town Texas farm boy with an MBA and CPA who founded and continuously ran Houston’s oldest residential construction company for forty-three years. He is a lifelong active Republican, a Christian, a veteran, and an early marathoner who ran for President in 2008 and 2012.