So I noticed today that Seattle has a politician who is now pushing the idea of setting up a city-fund....where you'd go to a homeless guy, and offer a one-way bus-ticket. You agree to leave....we pay for your ticket. I'm guessing you might get a box-lunch deal out of this too, but that would just add $7 on top of the $50 one-way ticket.
The odds of this affecting people living on the street in Seattle? I would take a guess that fewer than 200 people might take the deal. Why? Well....if you are homeless in Seattle.....it isn't that much better to be homeless in Salt Lake City, or Dayton, or Birmingham, or Chicago.
In fact, if you figure weather and pro-drug attitude....Seattle, Portland, LA and San Francisco win easily over the next 300 cities beyond the west coast.
But what would prevent some small group with an agenda from placing two or three fake homeless guys into the Seattle community, and just having them talk continually to forty homeless folks on a daily basis....promoting and selling them on the idea of leaving Seattle for LA?
Propagandists? Yes. Imagine these three guys just selling five people a day into moving to San Francisco or LA, and in a year....you've decreased the homeless population in Seattle by 1,600 people.
Unethical? Well....yeah, that's a possibility that the accusation might come up.
But let's be honest, nothing else seems to really lessen the number. And that cost-factor of roughly half-a-million seems to be very reasonable if you consider you'd need to spend ten times that amount if you just kept the 1,600 in the city.