PROBLEM SOLVING

The New Yorker: Fact
An efficiency apartment in Denver averages $376 a month, or just over forty-five hundred a year, which means that you can house and care for a chronically homeless person for at most fifteen thousand dollars, or about a third of what he or she would cost on the street.

A brilliant article by Malcolm Gladwell about finding ways of actually solving social problems instead of just managing them. The problem is that the solutions, proven as they are, rub up against some ingrained prejudices. The idea that paying for an apartment to get hardcore homeless people off the street is much more efficient and costs much less runs contrary to the idea we have that we shouldn't be "rewarding" people for being homeless. This is the same logic we have in dealing with welfare or social security. It fits in with our moral prejudice to say we shouldn't give people money just to sit at home but it benefits everyone more to keep people off the street and out of poverty. Gladwell does a great job with this type of article and I encourage eveyone to read it.

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