As a society our nation has come to rely too much on law enforcement to deal with the social problems of homelessness and mental health ("Eviction Notices Served to Marsh Homeless. What Now?" July 30). We place the demand on law enforcement officers who can only deal with these problems on a superficial level. Removing homeless people from the area behind the Bayshore Mall will not solve anything. They will return again. That is the problem with direct enforcement. It only serves to move the problem to a different location and putting them in jail for violations of minor laws and ordinances serves no real purpose because they do their time, then return to life on the streets. And jail is a much more expensive temporary solution.
Either we continue to deal with this problem as such through law enforcement — by cutting and defunding social programs and we leave the homeless or mentally ill to fend for themselves, maybe even die on our streets — or we provide affordable housing and social support through our government. It is much more cost effective for us to solve these problems in a humane way by funding affordable housing and other more effective permanent solutions. Cutting funding for food stamps, homeless shelters and other governmental support only serves to make this problem worse.
We support tax cuts and generous subsidies for wealthy individuals and corporations that cost us much more than any social program in a false belief that they will create economic wealth for all rather than place our support as a society through our government and the tax revenues that government generates to those who really need our help. What does that say about us?
Todd Heiler, Ferndale