Credit where credit is due: Thanks to George W. Bush, there’s less homelessness today


David Frum has the story HERE:

Have you noticed that homelessness isn’t worse? Here we are, living through the most protracted joblessness crisis since the Great Depression — and surprisingly, fewer people are living on the street.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that the number of the chronically homeless declined by 30% between 2005 and 2007. You might have expected the numbers to spike again when the financial crisis hit but no. Since 2007, the number of chronic homeless has dropped another 19%.

A broader measure of the number of homeless counts the number of people living out of doors on one randomly chosen night. That broader measure has also improved through the economic crisis. Between January 2011 and January 2012, homelessness among veterans dropped by 7%.

To what or whom do we owe this good news?

In very large part, we owe it to the president whose library opened in Dallas last week: George W. Bush.

For three decades, we have debated what causes homelessness and how to deal with it. Is homelessness a mental health problem? A substance abuse problem? A problem caused by gentrification and urban redevelopment? Or something else again?

The Bush administration substituted a much simpler idea — an idea that happened to work. Whatever the cause of homelessness, the solution is … a home.

In 2002, Bush appointed a new national homeless policy czar, Philip Mangando. A former music agent imbued with the religious philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, Mangano was seized by an idea pioneered by New York University psychiatrist Sam Tsemberis: “housing first.”

The “housing first” concept urges authorities to concentrate resources on the hardest cases — to move them into housing immediately — and only to worry about the other problems of the homeless after they first have a roof over their heads. A 2004 profile in The Atlantic nicely summarized Tsemberis’ ideas: “Offer them (the homeless) the apartment first, he believes, and you don’t need to spend years, and service dollars, winning their trust.”



  1. Brian Opsahl

    OMG ….I would have thought that Bush put more folks on the street from his bad economy idea’s…so if this is true…I guess Bush doe’s have something he can hang that cowboy hat on…

  2. rickitikkitavi

    well, gee, brian……do you want to talk about our current socialist president and the damage he has done to the american economy? can’t blame bush for everything; he has been out of office for a few years. i am glad you are starting to see how much g w is missed.

  3. Aaron

    It is hard for your insults to have an impact, when you write like an imbecile. Every post I have ever seen from you, Brian, is riddled with spelling errors and poor grammar. Add that to the ignorant content of each and every one of your posts (not to mention the fact that you started this post like a teenage girl) and it is clear that you have the intelligence of an 8 year old. You blame Republicans for everything, but the problem with politics in America is people like you. You politicize everything and, instead of attempting to participate in intelligent discussion, you just bash the other side. There are folks on both sides of the aisle that take this approach and they all share the blame with you. This post was a simple acknowledgement of a good thing President Bush did. It did not attempt to make the argument that Republicans are better than Democrats or even that this man was a good United States President. Drop the divisive rhetoric for 30 seconds.

  4. Brian Opsahl

    Maybe you should read it again Aaron with 2 AA …yes I trash Bush every chance I get but if you could actully read what I said it was NOT trashing him this time.
    Yes I have spelling errors (dont always use spell check so what) if you don’t like what I write …then don’t respond,complain about or read…1st amendment says im good …so..!!

  5. Todd A

    This is just another chance to blame Obama for something. You see, the reason there are less homeless is because our socialist , muslim president has been handing out welfare to anyone who lookasks for it.

    It doesn’t matter that the economic policies, reckless spending and foolish tax breaks of W put millions out of work and forced millions out of their homes in the first place. The point here is that Obama is giving these people aid. Why can’t we just adopt the GOP’s position? If they don’t work, screw ’em. If they get sick, to hell with them. Children be damned. The elderly? They should have planned better? The disabled? Thats not my fault.

  6. Brian Opsahl

    Aaron isn’t a spelling error the same as poor grammer..? pot calling the kettle black..?

    OMG is an expression that’s widly used…just like ..lol,IDK,BLW. and yes my teenage Daughter uses it all the time…problem..?..DUDE..!!

    I get that your a republican that doesn’t care for my writings and I invite you to ignore them if they bother you so much..there are my opinions and mine only…get over it..!!

  7. Craig Knauss

    rickitikkitavi says, “…current socialist president and the damage he has done to the american economy?”

    Damage? Where’s the DJIA right now? Where’s the S&P right now? Where’s the NASDAQ right now? Where’s the unemployment rate right now? Where are interest rates right now?

    So, rickitikkitavi , tell us!

  8. Todd A

    Craig, you’re missing the point. The rate of growth is too slow. It doesn’t matter that our beloved former president presided over the economic collapse. What matters now is that Obama isn’t getting it fixed fast enough.

  9. Aaron


    A. No, spelling errors and poor grammar (not grammer) are not the same thing. One could spell each word of a sentence perfectly and still use poor grammar.
    B. I never said anything about being a Republican.
    C. I am pointing out the contribution that ignorant attitudes like yours have made to the political deadlock in Washington. I never said that you don’t have the right to be stupid.

  10. Wilson

    I am surprised Pat hasn’t corrected Brian. He corrects me when I have pour grammer and misspelt words and usually in a very condescending manner.

    “In late 2003, when economic growth surged “at the fastest pace in nearly two decades” with the gross domestic product (GDP) growing at a 7.2 percent rate, those in Congress hoping to convince voters that George Bush’s policies were failing pointed to the unemployment numbers. To draw attention away from the incredible growth numbers, Democrats pointed to the job market which lagged behind other economic indicators.
    In August 2003, reacting to a July unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi asked “Where are the jobs, Mr. President.” With the current unemployment rate at 9.8 percent and many predicting it will go higher over the coming months, House Speaker Pelosi should be asking that question even more emphatically than she did six years ago.”

  11. Brian Opsahl

    My,my Aaron now I’m stupid with an ignorant attitude…holy crap dude and you don’t even know me…wow..nice !!

    Well sense your throwing out insults like curve balls when you gather an intelligent thought write me back and we can have an argument about something other than your snide comments..!!

  12. Brian Opsahl


    JRM showed you how much Bush added to the deficit and dept,problem then you pullout some crap from from 03 and that is supposed to change all that bad stuff he did to ruin our economy.

    I have showed you all kinds of bad decisions he made that ended up costing all of us our life’s savings including over 130K of mine. My retirement plans had to be put on hold until Obama took over and turned it all around..FACT’S just the Wilson…

    And for your information Pat has scolded me for going to far….just like you…stop throwing out BS accusations Wilson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *