What’s Our Obligation to the Homeless?

One needs only to step outside to encounter the ever-deepening homelessness problem in New York City. The crisis, like the crime epidemic in the early 1990s, feels out of control. But, unlike crime, homelessness is not a problem the government can solve.

There are 7.5 billion humans in the world, each with a unique combination of DNA. Even if 90 percent of the population somehow adheres to the mean, that still means 750 million people—more than twice the size of the entire United States—are going to have a mental composition that, in some way, makes conforming to societal norms a challenge. Add to that substance abuse. To be human means feeling pain, guilt, sadness and conflict. Drugs and alcohol provide a temporary respite, and while most of us can either limit our intake or abstain altogether, others cannot. For some, once addiction takes over homelessness isn’t far behind. (Read)

Bradley Tusk