These cities’ feigned compassion making drug and homelessness crises worse

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Homelessness and drug addiction are often inextricably linked, presenting a critical challenge in many big cities, including my hometown of San Diego. 

There, I took to the streets to begin my year-long journey to understand why so many veterans are homeless and how we can truly help them. The reality is that we have 1.3 million veterans who are either homeless or on the brink, and we lose more than 109,000 Americans to drug overdoses yearly, many of whom are homeless. 

Cities like San Diego, San Francisco and Portland exemplify the relationship between drugs and homelessness and highlight the urgent need for comprehensive policy changes for long term success.

A paramedic helps a homeless woman in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco on Oct. 9, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Instead of pumping resources into unsuccessful transitory housing, we need to establish what I call “Base Camp” – infrastructure providing housing/camping but also essential services like hygiene facilities, a cafeteria, therapy, purposeful work opportunities, and long-term support. This would provide a longer runway for takeoff into successful sobriety and reintegration


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