Would it make sense for cities to hire homeless relocation concierges?

From the Los Angeles Times, “Councilmen weigh legal action, saying other cities are pushing homeless into L.A.”:

Councilmen Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino called Wednesday for City Atty. Mike Feuer to explore “legal steps” that L.A. could use to compel those cities to comply with a federal court decision on homelessness and sidewalk camping in Boise, Idaho. The proposal, they said, would stop nearby cities from pushing homeless people into L.A. city boundaries.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that homeless individuals may not be held criminally responsible for sleeping on government property when no alternative shelter is available.

Bonin, whose council district touches Santa Monica, Culver City and El Segundo, said he believes many cities in the region are not complying with that decision.

“Instead of allowing people to sleep on their sidewalks, they are encouraging people, or compelling people, to move to the city of Los Angeles to do that,” he said.

I’ve occasionally wondered in these pages why people who are homeless in a place with a cold and/or wet climate, e.g., Seattle, do not relocate to Santa Monica. Readers have put forward various theories about the challenges faced by the homeless. The LA Times article shows that at least some cities are eager to see homeless residents move to other places (but they also want to provide sanctuary to undocumented low-skill immigrants?).

Would it make sense for cities to hire concierges for their homeless populations? The concierge El Segundo, for example, would organize luxury bus tours of nearby California cities, would know the best places to camp out and receive services in each of those places, etc. Instead of an arms race of hostility, seeing which city can make life miserable for the homeless, try to facilitate their moves.

[The article also contains a comparison of homeless to trash that, had Donald Trump made it, would have been newsworthy:

Councilman Jose Huizar and several colleagues called for increased enforcement, fines and rewards, along with the expansion of a program that allows homeless and formerly homeless individuals to work on cleanup crews.

“I have long said that downtown Los Angeles needs an emergency, triage-like response when it comes to addressing homelessness,” Huizar said in a statement. “But that is also true for the amount of trash that is illegally dumped on our streets.”


Readers: What do you think? Cities already provide a lot of services to the homeless. Why not a concierge to help with moving?

14 thoughts on “Would it make sense for cities to hire homeless relocation concierges?

  1. Why don’t the homeless just identify as “undocumented immigrants”? They’d be given free food, and housing – and in California free medical care too.

    • Concentration camps are real fun: some members of my family do know this firsthand. So where do I hear, No Nazist USA?

      Oh hello, Mr Bernie Sanders, dear leader of the Socialist Kampuchea. Why haven’t we met you there, holding on to frozen logs in Siberia or working the mines of Cambodia? Hey AOC, have your camp guards told you that you are not a real woman because you have never been gang-raped? How do you propose to fix that?

    • You beet me to it. I think it is common knowledge that many cities will offer a bus ticket + a few hundred greenbacks for a promise not to return.

    • A bus ticket is nice, of course, and environmentally responsible (way less energy per passenger than AMTRAK!). But it is not the same as a concierge personally arranging all of the required services and connections at the new destination.

      Consider the difference between a plane ticket to Ireland and an organized escorted tour of Ireland.

    • How about hiring a concierge, that will move the homeless while they’re high on drugs and/or booze? Get high in high in Boston, wake up in Nashville! Free concierge service!

    • And now the Homeless live on Greyhound, always on a bus to their next destination. They’re not homeless, they are tourists. Of course, I want to do this on a grander scale. PM of Canada said he would take all immigrants at his border, so let’s bus them all to Canada!!

      If some how politicians could get their acts together, we could build education centers in low cost parts of the country. And house, feed, and train them there. They would emerge with skills and jobs. I think the big cities would pay to support the centers. It’s a lot cheaper to house a migrant in, say mid-state Pennsylvania than in NYC or Boston. Or Amarillo instead of Dallas.

  2. Your parenthetical question and Billg’s post have dawned upon me, and I see the error of my ways. I was wrong with the recreational marijuana and couch lock!

    Instead: taxpayer funded Citizenship Nullification Zones in Mexico. Concierges are federal employees in each congressional district, with numbers indexed to population. Homeless meet with concierges, get tickets and consultation, and off they go. Former travel agents displaced by AirBNB and other internet services are encouraged to apply. Homeless then spend 2 weeks in the Zone, meet new migrants coming north, as many as they can fit. We’ll need to build a lot of Zones, but that’s OK. Everything moves much more predictably, on a biweekly schedule. Free room and board, medical care, soft drugs, pornography and Netflix. One week’s worth of new clothes.

    Citizenship and all prior records are nullified upon completion of the arduous regime. The person is now stateless and an asylum seeker, with no criminal or mental health record, they’ve been patched up, and have no nettlesome baggage. Research shows we needn’t worry about criminal or mental health records for migrants. The concierge then provides a Certificate of Nullifaction Completion and guides the Annulled back across the border with the **assistance** of the Border Patrol. Now they qualify for all welfare benefits.

    Gentlemen, we’ve done the impossible. I want to thank you for your inspiration. We’ve solved:

    1) The Homeless Problem
    2) The Migrant Problem
    3) Wayward Cities Dumping “Trash” in LA
    4) Disobeying the 9th Circuit
    5) Many Border Patrol Issues
    6) The Humanitarian Crisis

    And we’ve provided a new industry for Mexico. Enough with all the nonsense! It’s a grand day.

    *Bonus: anyone can complete this program ad infinitum! It’s recursive: the Certificate of Nullification Completion is itself rendered null and void whenever someone needs to pass through the program again. We’d have to find a way to establish a minimum time limit before people can re-Nullify, but that should be relatively easy to do.

  3. Philip, perhaps you could organize something akin to the Angel Flights program. But instead of transporting patients to their medical appointments, pilots would volunteer to fly homeless people from places like Boise, ID to Los Angeles. Just a thought.

  4. Sadly there is a profession that is basically just that. I am talking about Social Workers. You can actually go to college and get a degree in this field. Their job is basically to help people manipulate and get the most out of our welfare systems. It is really despicable that this is a career choice.

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