Old Military Bases For The Homeless

By | June 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

The homeless problem continues to get worse, with no solution in sight. Permit me to offer one. Activate one or more of the many closed military bases. The one I am familiar with is Fort Ord, in the scenic Monterey area. It covers 2000 acres and when I was there housed 15,000 personnel. It included barracks for enlisted personnel, bachelor and senior officers quarters, mess halls, kitchens, vehicle facilities, and a hospital.

Some of these buildings may have been torn down or are too dilapidated to repair. But it is a start. In addition, the wide parade grounds and training areas could house large tent cities. Other closed military bases could serve a similar purpose.

The first requirement to solve a problem is to admit there is a problem. This we are finally doing. The second requirement is to summon the will to find a solution. This we have not yet done. People object that many homeless refuse housing even when it is offered. Civil libertarians assert the right of people to occupy public parks, to block private home and businesses, and to use drugs and defecate in public. In effect, this is the right to live like animals, to have diseases untreated, and suffer in dirt, heat, cold, rain, snow, and vermin. Preserve me from such “rights.”

We need to come together as a people and decide whether our cities, our nation, and our civilization is worth saving. If the answer is yes – and that is a big if – we need to build the housing, and then forcibly take the homeless to it. There they can be checked out medically and psychologically, cleaned up, dried out, given needed treatment, and returned to society if possible. And for the severely disabled, permanent housing can be provided.

The homeless problem could have been approached when it was smaller and more easily solved. Now it is huge. But like cancer, it will not go away spontaneously. It will only get even worse. The old saying goes, better late than never. Unless we act soon, by default we will have chosen never.



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