Jeff Olivet was tapped to be the Executive Director for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) op Januarie 31. He landed the job after his “two decades of experience in working to eradicate haweloosheid,” according to Housing and Urban Development (VEL) Secretary Marcia Fudge.
But it’s that very work that qualifies him as a long-standing member of the homeless industrial complex, transitioning from role to role as he gives speeches on how to end homelessness as the problem just gets worse.
Inderdaad, Olivet has seemingly minor accomplishments to show for his over 25 years of experience as a street outreach worker, case manager, and nonprofit CEO. Perhaps it’s why his latest job was as an anti-racist consultant providing organizations with a “racial equity assessment” rather than tackling homelessness.
So how was he chosen as the homelessness czar?
This role coordinates the efforts of 19 federal agencies to tackle housing, with billions of tax dollars on the line. Olivet doesn’t seem to offer bold, innovative solutions to the crisis plaguing our cities. He seems to offer up little more than talking points you’d find in a Dr. Robin DiAngelo book and a love of policies that keep failing, yet satisfy a left-wing worldview.
All the evidence seems to suggest that Olivet views homelessness through a critical race theory and a social justice lens. He believes that racism causes homelessness and, thus, focuses much of his attention on the Black community.
“What we do not say often enough or loudly enough is that racism and homelessness are inextricably linked. Ja, rassisme. It is time to speak truth. It is time to call it what it is,” Olivet explained in an interview.
A homeless person isn’t living on the streets due to an untreated mental illness or an addiction to heroin or meth, Olivet argues. He believes those issues merely make one “vulnerable to become homeless.” In plaas daarvan, he insists, “structural racism” leads to homelessness, so he focuses his efforts on the disproportionate number of Black people in the homeless population.
He blames “systems that are already disproportionately affecting communities of color, which disproportionately impacts blacks,” such as the criminal justice system. Thus, he does not believe “colorblind solutions” will work.
“[T]hey don’t work because we’re not diagnosing the problem right. We’re not seeing the racial dimensions and the racial inequity that’s in play,” hy het gesê.
That’s interesting because none of Olivet’s comments explain why White people also experience homelessness. It doesn’t even truly address the Latino and Asian homeless population, óf.
But under the Biden administration, the focus is primarily on the Black community. Democrats need that demographic to vote, especially as we head into a midterm election in November that looks increasingly like an inevitable red wave. Want more proof? In the announcement about Olivet, USICH lists its support of racial equity for the homeless voorheen the importance of housing.
Steeds, wading through Olivet’s race-based approach to the problem, you’ll find a strategy he believes works and could, in teorie, impact homeless people regardless of race. Olivet supports Housing First, which is in line with the administration.
The strategy is straightforward: the homeless get temporary or permanent housing right away, with no strings attached. Addicted to heroin? You do not have to quit using; you get your studio apartment first and shoot up to your heart’s content. USICH, as an agency, pushes for drug decriminalization and this fits in.
For someone who believes institutional racism has kept Black people from owning homes or affording rent and daardie “housing is a human right,” this approach makes sense. And his view, along with Democrats’ race-based track record, likely suggests the housing will go to people from “marginalized communities.” But it doesn’t work.
Proponents turn to Salt Lake City, which experienced some 95% of homeless placed into housing and actually staying off the streets. By that measure, it’s a success. But it’s ineffective in creating self-sufficiency, which is why the homeless are burning a hole in the Salt Lake City budget.
City auditors warned it would cost the city roughly $ 300 million to construct 1,200 permanent supportive housing units, which is what the city estimated it would need last November. Maar dan, it would cost $ 52 million a year to keep operating.
Even if ended future homelessness, the city can’t withstand that spending. But under Olivet, we could be pouring money into much larger cities like New York, Die Engele, and San Francisco that would require much more than what Salt Lake spends.
Housing First is a money pit. It’s why Republicans like Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., pushed a bill to stop the federal government practice of keeping funds from programs requiring participation in necessary treatment.
It’s safe to assume that Olivet’s heart is in the right place. Like all of us, he wants to solve homelessness. But like so many in the Biden administration, Olivet is obsessed with racial identity politics and is blinded by ideology. The homeless in our country need help. Blaming systemic racism and virtue signaling one’s wokeness won’t end their suffering.
A better plan provides housing contingent on one’s willingness to participate in intense wraparound services. In my view, the root cause for homelessness isn’t racism enigsins — it is often a result of addiction and/or mental illness. Eliminate so-called systemic racism and the heroin addict will still look for ways to feed their addiction instead of learning skills, getting a job, and becoming self-sufficient.
People are so often not homeless merely because they are without a home. Na alles, they were not born on the streets; they once had a home but lost it through addiction, geestesongesteldheid, and sometimes, through no fault of their own. Housing that comes with a permanent reliance on the government is not a good approach.
Maybe the Biden administration has tasked Olivet with creating an even larger reliance on the federal government now that he’s in this leadership position? It’s certainly in line with progressive thinking on the role of government. And it comes with an added benefit for people like Olivet in that it creates job security for him and others within the homelessness industrial complex.
If we want to end homelessness, we must stop turning to the same politically well-connected nonprofit executives who have a history of viewing the issue through a partisan lens. It’s no wonder the problems get worse when they’re in charge. And we cannot allow woke ideology that views alles as racist to stop us from getting people off the streets and into treatment.
A free studio apartment for addicts or the mentally ill to waste their lives is immoral, om die minste te sê. Drug-addicted or mentally ill homeless people won’t seek help because their illness has a grip on their judgment. But under this new czar and the Biden administration, our judgment seems no better than a homeless addict.