LNP publishes ‘feel good’ article re local homeless

According to “Homelessness in Lancaster County continues to decline as new strategies take effect”:

“Homelessness in Lancaster County fell for a third straight summer, offering more confirmation that federally funded, research-driven strategies are working here, an expert said.

“A total of 370 homeless individuals were counted on Thursday, Aug. 27, down 20 percent from a similar one-day count in August 2014.,,

“Funded with $3.5 million in federal grants, the multi-agency coalition is on track to reduce the number of people considered chronically homeless to zero in 2016, a year ahead of the government’s goal for the nation.”

If we divide the $3,500,000 up among the 370 homeless, each would receive $9,500. So a typical family of four would have $38,000 and readily be able to afford housing.

(This is the type of assistance that would have been provided by the negative income tax that then president Richard Nixon advocated without success.)

Pertinently, the economy has been recovering from the Great Recession, so a 20% reduction in homeless in recent years may not be exceptional. According “Homelessness in the United States: Trends and demographics”, there has been a 9% decline nationally since 2007 but the drop has been largely over the past two years. (See graph in article.)

We would like to know how te reduction of homelessness here in Lancaster over the past two years compares with neighboring cities such as Reading, Harrisburg, and York and also Allentown.

We do not mean to judge or criticize the federal expenditure or the work of those agencies working to assist the homeless. We have no reason at this juncture to doubt their effectiveness.

We are criticizing the superficiality and the thrust of the article. If we can come up with federal figures in about two minutes, why didn’t the reporter and editor? This ain’t the 1980’s. We live in the world of Google. More is expected of reports.

‘Rah, rah, rah for Lancaster! Aren’t we great?’

Updated: December 17, 2015 — 2:01 pm

1 Comment

  1. The sorry answer is that many reporters and editors are either lazy, or uninspired to provide quality journalism.

    The other overdriving issue would be that additional research and information (maybe even some facts!!) would necessitate additional column length, which could possibly mean less space for those all-important ads (which I for one, never read anyway).

    News/analysis/facts will never be allowed to get in the way of advertising dollars with this current ownership/management/editorial staff at LNP.

    It’s just that simple; sad, but very true….which may be a reason that so many good reporters have left over the past 12-16 months.

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