Since I first became homeless, I learned about the numerous projects/programs/orgs. etc. whom comprise the "homeless industry". Make no mistake about it, just as the housing/real estate services and construction industries thrive following a major earthquake, flood or wildfire, there's a ton of money changing hands, railroad car loads of cash (state and federal tax funds and charity donations) are being allocated and spent and paychecks being issued to well-paid, full time professionals whom specialize in (or who's work tends to hobo problems) such as alcohol/drug counselors, mental health workers, security guards at shopping malls, paramedics/ER hospital personnel.
If every hobo in San Diego suddenly disappeared tomorrow---Phoooof! like that, there would be lots of skid marks on the crowded highway of economic recovery due to layoffs/terminations, rescinded funding and reshuffling of market sectors. Drug rehab places which are currently overcrowded and have 6 month long waiting lists to enter, would shut down and reopen as new Asian grocery stores, Mexican car wash/Taco stands and liquor stores. Don't hold your breath for hobos to go away anytime soon.
The hobo industry is a thriving one which runs in a reciprocal order to our capitalistic economy which is why its currently thriving (as the recession lingers on). Its an industry that's driven by charities and federal/state funds but what does it produce? Not sure how one can measure output or productivity of this economy (it may be the # of clients served / $ spent).
I've always believed that my homeless situation is a temporary one and that what ever problems I'm experiencing are due to my lack of a purpose/occupation and that the remedy is a damn job... some responsibility and program to manage....employees to supervise etc. These homeless-assist resources,from what I've heard and seen, can be very useful for someone who needs their GED and their first ever job.
There's a program run by the SDPD to deal with chronic drunks whom the cops get fed up arresting every few days for public intoxication. The program is called SIP (Serial Inebriate Program) and what it does is take the drunken folks of the street anbd put them into a sober living apartment along with others in the program. Once they're in the program they follow a daily routine of group meetings and light chores and they must attend 5 AA mtgs per week. The program is far better IMO than just living in a shelter like St.Vinny's because its goal oriented. It seeks to transition the person from the homeless streets drinking all day into either employment and or gov.assisted housing etc. while remaining committed and focused upon maintaining sobriety.
Its difficult for me to sing praises about any particular resource org. but I could rant and bitch all day long about the way some of them are run. I liked the VOA's residential detox facility in Nat'l City but its work is almost pointless without the availability of beds in the county for residential treatment.