This figure is correct in my experience big books, I have calculated that the spend on homeless services in Dublin averages at €35 per person.
I simply cannot understand why there is not more media attention on this issue.
Clearly a crazy number but... is it not the case that homelessness is often conflagrated with some form of mental illness? I know you hear the stories of people becoming homeless due to family breakups etc, but I was under the impression that they were in the minority, and that what the majority need are extensive social services, mental heath facilities, etc than could indeed run to tens of thousands per year.
Having lived in the "homeless industry" capitol of the world, SF, where they spend several hundred million dollars a year to keep several thousand people *on* the streets the simple answer is that there are very few true homeless people. At least around here. People down on their luck who have temporarily lost their home and have nowhere to live. The word "homeless" is used as a blanket term to hide a whole spectrum of heterogeneous problems, usually self inflicted, behind a simplistic and misleading tag.
The vast majority of the "homeless" are winos or junkies, the mentally ill who wont take their meds, drifters, runaways, and what were once called tramps. Basically mostly people who are where they are through their own volition or else through bad personal choices. In the case of the mentally ill, the real tragedy of the streets, in the US various human rights laws over the decades has made it almost impossible to get involuntary commitment orders for those mentally ill who need close supervision taking meds. It seems its a basic human right to not take meds that will give someone a reasonably dignified and stable life and instead let them die in utter squalor on the streets. A least a few dozen die like this every year. In just one city.
That is the real reason why you see so many mentally ill on the streets in US cities. You dont see so many in Dublin. It is a truly heart-breaking sight. But it seems this is not a problem for the progressive types whose main knowledge on the subject seems to mainly come from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. It seems notional "rights" are more important than actual deaths.
You do see and hear genuine hard luck tales every now and then. But not that many. But on the whole most people will stay on the streets as winos and drifters until *they* make the decision to clean up their acts. In the meantime you'll have thousands of NGO parasites with all their "programmes" making a very nice living from not solving the problems they hide under the vacuous and meaningless term "homelessness". Think of the NGOs as modern secular missionaries indulging in middle class sanctimony. At least their non-secular equivalent 100 years ago preached temperance, self dignity and self worth. Which actually is part of a real solution to the underlying problem in most cases. The modern equivalent just offers a never ending (but lucrative) non-solution to a very real social problem.