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Homelessness policy shift from Housing First to criminalization of the unhoused
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at]
Thursday Dec 5th, 2019 11:25 PM
Everyone knows that the Housing First policies work, and that the unhoused (homeless) need a place to call home. However, with Matthew Doherty, the Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) being forced out, and Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr. replacing him by the Trump Regime, there appears to be a major shift taking place in national Federal government policies to criminalize and punish the unhoused (homeless)!!!
Homelessness policy shift from Housing First to criminalization of the unhoused

No more jails for the unhoused (homeless)

By Lynda Carson - December 5, 2019

Reportedly, HUD officials were recently in the Portland, Oregon area to check out the possibility or feasibility of using the Wapato Jail as a place to contain and house the unhoused (homeless).

Additionally, the Trump Regime forced out Matthew Doherty the former Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and wants to replace him with Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr., of San Antonio, Texas.

Some say that Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr., of Marbut Consulting, has beliefs similar to Trump, and believes in punishing the unhoused (homeless) as a way to transform their lives. According to Marbut’s, “Seven Guiding Principals Of Transformation” for the unhoused, Marbut believes that the unhoused should be rewarded for positive behavior, and that there should be consequences for negative behavior.

No, I am not suggesting that Marbut wants to use a professional dominatrix to reward, or punish the unhoused for negative behavior until they become totally submissive.

However, everyone knows that the Housing First policies work, and that the unhoused (homeless) need a place to call home, which is something apparently that Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr. does not believe in.

According to an article with the Huffington Post, “The Trump administration seems to be going in the opposite direction by nominating Robert Marbut to head the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Marbut is a San Antonio, Texas-based community college professor who branched out as a homelessness containment expert in the mid-2000s. Cities hire him for advice on how to get homeless people off their downtown streets.”

However, according to the Marbut Consulting website, Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr. promotes policies and schemes that would prohibit communities from feeding the unhoused. Marbut wants to place the unhoused in a so-called "transformational campus" that may be comparable to what the Chinese are doing to the Uyghurs.

The Criminalization & Punishment Of The Unhoused (Homeless):

The View Points Of Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr. and his “Seven Guiding Principals Of Transformation.” :

1. Move to a Culture of Transformation (versus the Old Culture of Warehousing): “Homeless individuals must be engaged and no longer enabled. Everybody within the services delivery system (eg general public, media, elected politicians, appointed officials, boards, staffs/volunteers of service agencies and most importantly the homeless themselves) must embrace a culture of transformation. A transformative culture positively fosters individual transformation and reintegration into society. For moral and fiscal reasons, homelessness must become an unacceptable condition that is not tolerated in the USA.”

2. Co-location and Virtual E-integration of as Many Services as Possible: “In order to increase success, all services within a service area must be e-integrated. Virtual e-integration improves coordination of services, enhances performance, reduces gaming of the system, engages individuals on the margin of society, and increases cost efficiencies within and between agencies. Furthermore, whenever financially possible, services should be co-located. Co-location goes beyond virtual e-integration by increasing the number of “service hits” into a shorter period of time through the reduction of wasted time in transit and minimization of mishandled referrals. Co-location also increases the supportive “human touch.”

3. Must Have a Master Case Management System That is Customized: “Because there are so many different service agencies helping homeless individuals (eg government at multi-levels, non-profits and faith-based), it is critical that ONE person coordinates the services an individual receives and to do so in a customized fashion. The types of service provided are critical, but more important is the sequencing and frequency of customized services.”

4. Reward Positive Behavior: “Positive behavior should be rewarded with increased responsibilities and more privileges. Privileges such as higher quality sleeping arrangements, more privacy and elective learning opportunities should be used as rewards. It is important that these rewards be used as tools to approximate the real world in order to increase sustainable reintegration into society.”

5. Consequences for Negative Behavior: “Too often there are no consequences for negative behavior. Unfortunately, this sends a message that bad behavior is acceptable. Within the transformational process, it is critical to have swift and proportionate consequences.”

6. External Activities Must be Redirected or Stopped: “External activities such as “street feeding” must be redirected to support the transformation process. In most cases, these activities are well-intended efforts by good folks, however these activities are very enabling and often do little to engage homeless individuals. Street feeding programs without comprehensive services actually increase and promote homelessness. Street feeding groups should be encouraged to co-locate with existing comprehensive service programs.”

7. Panhandling Enables the Homeless and Must Be Stopped: “Unearned tax-free cash is very enabling and does not engage homeless individuals in job and skills training which are needed to end homelessness. Additionally, most often cash is not used for food and housing but rather for drugs and alcohol which further perpetuates the homeless cycle. Homeless individuals who are panhandling should be engaged in the transformational process. Furthermore, many panhandlers are not truly homeless individuals but are predators of generous citizens.”

National Alliance To End Homelessness:

The National Alliance To End Homelessness was extremely disappointed that the Trump Regime forced Matthew Doherty out of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and replaced him with the likes of Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr.

Many housing and homeless advocates are concerned that the current Housing First policies of USICH will be replaced by the draconian failed policies of Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr. and his so-called “Seven Guiding Principals Of Transformation,” which are written about and described in a recent Los Angeles Times article.

If interested click here for more about the activities of Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr., and click here for information about the criminalization of the unhoused (homeless).

In a blog posting with the Western Regional Advocacy Project in part it says, “The president threats are becoming a reality, the new head of the USICH Robert Marbut  (News Article Link: How A Traveling Consultant Helps America Hide The Homeless). “We don’t use the term shelter,” Marbut says. “We use the term transformational campus.” Marbut does not believe in Housing First but instead believes all homeless individuals have to be “fixed” before they deserve housing. The “Velvet Hammer, approach” Marbut offers the same basic advice to most cities: Cut the goodies and build a shelter like jails facilities.”

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at]

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