The TownhallSocial issues

Drugs and grifts sustain America’s homeless problem

By Che

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV. 

One of my neighbors in the county jail was a young guy fighting a murder case. He was about 19-20 years old, big, goofily built kid that was relatively quiet and kept to himself. After his size, the most distinct thing about him was the faded tattoo of his hood across his forehead. I would later learn that he actually did it himself which was telling as to the kind of individual he was.  

 I heard that he was a talented artist selling greeting cards, so I stopped by his cell to ask about it. He was drawing on his cell wall. He didn’t notice me at first as he was focused on drawing the portrait of an attractive young woman. It was flawless, like an actual black and white photo painted on the cell wall. 

He was soft-spoken and standoffish but in a non-threatening way. You can always tell what drugs made its way into the module by how everyone acted. I didn’t mind when it was predominately heroin or weed because it kept everyone mellow. But when it was crystal meth, that was a completely different beast. You could sense the paranoia in the air with everyone doing everything and yet not trusting the next man all along. 

It was a strange environment, especially for those who didn’t partake.  

One night, I was awakened to the sound of my neighbor having a conversation with someone in his cell. The only problem was he was alone. The conversation quickly turned into an argument and then he started yelling. He was accusing a girl of trying to set him up, a claim he made while trying to hold back tears. This went on for a couple of hours until the guard did his walk.  

“Are you f***ing kidding?” The guard’s voice echoed down the tier. He sounded an alarm triggering a response from other officers and medical staff. My neighbor was found with a sheet wrapped around his neck. He wasn’t hanging, he just had it around his neck. But that has to be taken seriously, so he was taken to suicide watch. 

After he left, I found out more about him. The girl he was drawing was also the girl he was arguing with. It was his ex-girlfriend, the same girl he was accused of killing. The story was that he was high on meth and thought she was working with his enemies to set him up. So, he killed her. 

In the cell, he kept getting high and having the same delusions he had when she was alive. Only this time, he was paranoid of an inanimate drawing he did himself. 

I tell this story because it demonstrates the destructive nature of crystal methamphetamine, the streets’ drug of choice these days. This is just one of many that I’ve heard. From delusions and paranoia to days of walking the streets aimlessly chasing more drugs, the disgusting nature of the drug is turning people into walking zombies. 

Here in Los Angeles, to say there’s a homeless crisis is an understatement. Just today I witnessed a woman eat out of the garbage can and then proceed to urinate in a public shopping center during the middle of the day. This is being normalized out here. Most of the people out on the streets have severe mental health issues. But where do you think these issues come from? 

It would make us all feel good to believe these are just people who have fallen upon misfortune and that the mental illness they suffer from is genetic, or the result of trauma. But that’s not the case. The inundation of methamphetamine on our streets is the biggest contributor to the increase of mental health cases and the zombie population. 

The story of my neighbor was just one of many where a person, high off meth, had crazy delusions that led to them committing heinous acts. I have known men accused of killing their fathers, brothers and even their own children while high on this evil narcotic. 

Take a stroll down San Julian Street in downtown LA, an area notoriously known as “skid row.” You’ll probably have to walk in the street because the sidewalks are covered with tents, makeshift houses, and random “parts” belonging to any and everything. The image is not something you think would be found in 2022 America. Yet, here it is, a third world nation just blocks away from some of the world’s biggest financiers.  

You will see people wandering, having full blown conversations with absolutely no one, women wearing no clothes walking in the streets barefoot, people defecating out in the open, and the stench of misery and urine filling the air. Human beings live like animals with no shame or dignity. And it’s not just confined to “skid row,” it’s everywhere.  

After coming home from 15 years in prison, the first thing I noticed was the overwhelming homeless population. Even in places known as nice areas and a good place to raise children are now tent cities. What are our elected officials, the people in charge of “solving” this problem, doing about it? Well, that’s where the problem begins and then proliferates. 

Homelessness, drug addiction, poverty, etc., have become a massive political grift. All you hear is: “Homelessness is a housing problem.” I wouldn’t disagree with this argument if we traced it back to the cost of living. In Los Angeles, homes are priced on average around $600,000, and we’re not talking about the best areas or best conditions. 

There’s a number of reasons for this, most arguably having to do with “progressive” policies like increased tax rates. California has the highest in the nation.  

The biggest problem is the grift. The various organizations and departments created to “solve the housing crisis.” These organizations lobby for more public housing and then get contracts for their cronies to build and maintain the complexes. They set up ongoing clinics, drug “rehab” centers, and more talk, talk, talk. They talk about housing and mental health issues, but they refuse to utter the word “drugs” as if the mere acknowledgment of it pulls the cover off the scam. 

I call it a scam because that’s exactly what it is. The root of the problem is drugs. The root of the mental health crisis is drugs as well. But acknowledging this means doing something about the influx of drugs being smuggled in across the US-Mexico border, something the current administration seemingly has no interest in stopping anytime soon. 

This would also end the exploitation of this population by the grifters profiting off their perceived “victimhood.” They’re “unfortunate” victims of racist institutions and “suffering from mental health issues,” which allows the grift to scam their constituents out of their hard-earned wealth. 

You don’t do anyone any favors by lying to them. The worst part about the poverty pimps and homeless grifters is that they give excuses to people who need anything but that. These people need to understand that they’re in a predicament based on their personal decisions. 

Yes, there are mental health problems on the streets of America, but many of these issues can be traced back to the use of methamphetamines. The people you see standing on the corner having full blown conversations with no one started much like my county jail neighbor.  

They go weeks on end without eating or sleeping, high on meth and become increasingly delusional. They become so delusional that their minds completely succumb to the world of make believe. 

Now, I’m sure there are a lot of well-intentioned people fighting to “end homelessness.” Unfortunately, too many are caught in the endless carousel of seeing the situation through rose colored glasses. We have to tell the truth. We have to hold every citizen accountable for their own actions. We have to stop listening to the pseudo-Marxists using their “intellectual” talking points to embolden their agenda.  

Just this month we witnessed two tragic murders here in LA. 24-year-old UCLA student Brianna Kupfer was stabbed to death by a transient who walked into a furniture store she was working at and killed her unprovoked. A 70-year-old nurse named Sandra Shells was attacked by a homeless man at Union Station in downtown. She later died of her injuries. The attack was random. 

The problem is both tragedies weren’t random at all. They are the result of bad policy, political grifting, and drugs. If we don’t tell the truth here, more people will lose their lives in more ways than one.

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Che is a writer and host of “The No Spoon Podcast” on Scoon TV.

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