|Yes, Mormons are strange. But they are systematically eliminating homelessness in Utah. Here's how.|
Yesterday, we talked about Hawaii state representative Tom Brower, and how he works to solve the issue of homelessness (and the closely related issue of cleanliness) by demolishing the shopping carts of homeless people with a sledgehammer.
See Article: Another Right Wing Moron
Well, the Mormons have taken a different approach. One that works.
Before we begin, let me say that Mormons are a complicated topic for me. They have strange beliefs. For example, they wear magic underpants.
Now, I don't know what kind of underpants you're wearing at this moment (hopefully something naughty), but I know that if you're dealing with a Mormon, that Mormon is wearing magic underpants, sanctified by God.
Mormons also believe that the Garden of Eden took place in Missouri. Anyone who's been to St. Louis knows how unlikely this is.
And Mormons believe that since they are the chosen people of God, they're better than everyone else. Okay, this is a common failing. But who's knows? Maybe they're right.
Personally, I believe that the human race was created when aliens from outer space crash-landed on Earth, and out of boredom and sexual frustration, began to mate with chimpanzees.
Bad drivers + violent, aggressive monkeys = us. A cosmic accident, then a descent into bestiality. Not much room for exceptionalism in that religion.
Anyway, what were we talking about? Right, homelessness.
|A homeless person in a cardboard box. Mormons recognize that God wouldn't want this.|
So the Mormons know that God doesn't like homelessness (but does love people who are homeless), so they are getting rid of homelessness in the one place they completely control, the state of Utah.
They are doing this by... wait for it... giving homeless people homes to live in.
Jesus, why didn't we think of that? Maybe Mormons really are just better and smarter than we are.
In Utah, Mormons make up about 70% of the voting population, and more than 90% of the state legislature and state senate. Which means they can create any government system they want, and they can pass any law they want, any time they want.
In 2005, they figured out that the annual cost of emergency room visits and jail stays for homeless people was about $16,670 per person, compared to $11,000 to provide each homeless person with an apartment and a social worker.
So the state began giving away apartments, with no strings attached. Each participant in Utah’s Housing Works program also gets a caseworker to help them become self-sufficient, but they keep the apartment even if they fail.
Bam! Mormons, math whizzes that they are, calculated that it's cheaper to give people homes than allow them to languish on the streets. These Mormons, odd ducks, also seem to have a deep and profound belief in human dignity. Combine the two and it's a no-brainer.
In eight years, Utah has reduced homelessness by 78 percent, and is on track to end homelessness in the state by the end of 2015.
Read that again. If the current pace keeps up, by the end of 2015, there will be no more homeless people in the state of Utah.
And by the way, they did this in a Republican state, through organized BIG GOVERNMENT action, not through piecemeal charity attempts. And it cost the state almost nothing.
Break me off some of that, will you?