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San Francisco provides hotel rooms, booze and drugs to the homeless

San Francisco provides hotel rooms, booze and drugs to the homeless

It is bad enough that large numbers of people are allowed to break laws without repercussions – illegal border crossers and homeless people, for example – but now we find a new level of government aiding and abetting bad behavior and criminality.  Not only does it undermine the rule-of-law but does harm to those the government is purporting to help.

The latest bit of progressive insanity comes to us from California – specifically San Francisco.  No surprise there.  It seems that one response to the Covid-19 pandemic is to round up all the homeless folks and put them up in hotels.

Before we examine this issue specifically, we must keep in mind that permissive progressive policies are the reason that those Democrat-run cities have been experiencing a crisis of homelessness.  Many if not most homeless folks suffer from destructive addictions or mental health problems.  It is by far not a short-term economic issue for most of those camping out on the commons.  Rather than guide these individuals to institutions where they can get help with the underlying problems, progressive policies seem to be designed to modestly ease their burden while keeping them on the streets.

The spread of Covid-19 in the City by the Bay has demanded a new approach – and you can count on the radical progressive government to institute a politically correct, but utterly nutty, policy.

They plan to move the homeless – including those with Covid-19 – into the largely vacant hotels.  They plan to do this even over the objection of the hotel owners.  This could be seen as an unconstitutional seizure of private property.

We are not talking about going through the legal “eminent domain” process – which is bad enough – but an arbitrary seizure.  So far, there is no indication that the hotels will be properly compensated for the use of the rooms – or the eventual expensive disinfection process and likely damage to the property.

If San Francisco is willing to pay the owner adequately – and the owners agree to house the homeless – I have no problem with the plan.  Those that do not agree should not be required to accept homeless tenants.

But that is not the worst of the idiocy.

The taxpayers of San Francisco will be paying to purchase booze and illegal drugs for any homeless person who might want them.  It does not seem to be limited to medical-excuse marijuana.  We are talking hard drugs.

Until progressive-think came along, it was generally believed that the role of government was to help people get past their addictions – or to reclaim sound mental health.  It reminds me of how our lawmakers made virtually all gambling illegal until they decided the government, itself, should go into the “numbers racket” … ooops …  I mean the lottery.

The rationale for providing drugs and booze to addicts and alcoholics is that they need it to avoid suffering from withdrawal.  Well duh!  That strikes me like giving money to bank robbers so that they do not have to steal it.

The propensity of progressives to enslave disadvantaged people to their unfortunate status quo is not new.  Minority ghettos are maintained because they are rich in one thing – Democrat votes.  The proverbial “skid row” in cities has always been a political asset for Democrat political machines.  I recall votes being purchased for a pint of cheap booze in Chicago skid row.

The only difference between Chicago and San Francisco is that the leaders of the latter are using taxpayer money to maintain political control of the homeless.  Though homeless, many do vote – legally or illegally.  The homeless – like those in senior facilities – are targets for harvesting votes by machine precinct workers.  It is part of the job.

Too many of the homeless sell their bodies.  Some sell their blood.  Now they can sell their vote for an attitude adjustment high.  And I bet they get better booze than was handed out in Chicago.

Only progressives could come up with such idiotic ideas – and actually enact them.

So, there ‘tis.


About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Katie

    The hotels are getting paid per room per a WSJ article from May 5th. It will likely cost far less to do this than it would a hospital bed where they will end up if nothing is done. The rooms are prioritized for those 60 and older with underlying health conditions. The vote by the board came after an outbreak in a the city’s largest shelter. The CDC reported a study showing that 25% of homeless are infected. Also, private donations are paying for these people to get their usual medications for opioid use disorder treatment and cannabis is legal in CA.

  2. Donna M Slivka


  3. Derek Blurb

    All those freebies recipients will vote deimo-crap!

  4. Mike

    Larry, As is usual for you, your article is filled with half truths and downright lies. Hotel owners are not being forced to take homeless residents in SF, but there are a lot of vacant hotel rooms, which the City is negotiating with hotel owners to acquire for homeless and first responders. They are paying for those rooms. And taxpayers are not paying for drugs and alcohol for the homeless. There are City employees providing alcohol and tobacco to homeless, but that is paid for by private donations. And, there are some instances where legally prescribed medical marijuana is being acquired for the homeless, but it is the responsibility of the homeless to pay for that in whatever manner they normally do. No recreational drugs are being provided. Do you ever perform research for one of your articles, or do you just glance at other conservative websites and decide “this looks like some good red meat for my readers” when you publish a commentary?

  5. Customized Assistance

    Authorities must participate in such activities. That is why, it is important for them to reduce the number of homeless people.