Skip to comments.Chronic drunks' treatment costs San Francisco big bucks
Posted on 08/24/2009 12:12:48 PM PDT by Drew68
San Francisco has paid at least $150,000 for Kenny Walters in the past year. He isn't employed, has an arrest record as long as his hair, and can often be found passed out in a doorway on Haight Street.
Kenny Walters' job is to get drunk.
He's certainly not alone. "Chronic inebriants" are a grim and disturbing fact of life in San Francisco. They also cost the city millions.
The frustration is that the public service network - police, fire and medical professionals - doesn't seem to make a dent when it comes to people like Walters. There are suggestions, like a pilot program for high-impact users at the Department of Public Health, or the Community Justice Center to target frequent users, but nothing seems to get traction.
A five-year study found that 225 high ambulance users cost the city an average of $13 million annually, said Maria X. Martinez, a deputy director at the Department of Public Health.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
"Doesn't cost me a thing," he said cheerfully.
Party on, dude!
Get him a one way ticket to NYC...they’ll send him to the Fiji Islands...
Reading the article tells that he receives nearly $1K/month in Social Security benefits, spends $600+ for his apartment, eats for free and basically has $300/month to spend on 40 oz. bottles of beer. He willfully ignores all court summonses and tickets he's received without punishment.
Seriously, every city has a goodly supply of Mr. Walterses. In a previously life, I was a cab driver in a small midwestern city. One of my regulars was a wino who was always either checking in or checking out of the VA Hospital there. I'd be willing to bet that a relative handful of these chronic abusers account for an astronomical share of the public medical costs.
Back in Vancouver BC where I’m originally from, they had the same issue with crack addicts. The solution? MORE drugs to the junkies BUT regulating it..Same ole’ socialist crap in every socialist city.
We even have a special date called “Mardi Gras” where everyone on welfare would get their welfare checks and spend it on crack and booze...which would obviously put the hospitals on red alert due to the numerous people who OD’d. Love socialism..
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to build some small cells - kind of like the supposedly non-existent FEMA camps and keep the like of him in one? AFter all, if $150K in a year didn’t get him off the booze, then maybe putting him in a small cell with no company, give him the very basic nutrition, and let him dry out the old-fashioned way - deep him separated.
Depending on state, $150K would pay for an inmate in a maximum security prison for a few years... He apparently has made the decision to wallow in drunkenness. In that state, he represents a danger to others. Put him in a position that he really can make no other decision than to walk away from alcohol.
Then the feds decided alcholism was a disease covered by SSI and they were eligible for subsidized housing and the only place available was the senior apartments.
From then on when you went into the building there were always several characters hanging around and at various places the stench of old alcohol.The seniors doubled locked their doors and no longer gathered in the lounge to chat and visit in the evenings.
The chronic drunk ( inebrient -—lord what a euphemism) most typically ends up in insitutions or dead. Wasted time and life in many ways a tragedy. Giving them a place to “dry out” till they feel better has never really seemed to make a difference.
AA isn’t for those who need it or even those who want it. It is for those who work it
While in college my wife spent time bar tending in a downtown establishment just across from the city hall and the court house. Her worst days were those that coincided with the delivery of welfare checks.
Because these “patrons” were belligerent and did NOT tip, correct me if I’m wrong.
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
What help could you give a man who does not want it? This is the life he chooses. He will pass out on the sidewalks and eventually die, no matter what anyone does. If the state gives him money, he’ll buy booze. If not, he’ll find some other way to get money to buy booze.
I’m okay with the latter, not the former. It’s his life, if he wishes to end it this way, it’s his decision. I just don’t see why the rest of the people should be compelled to pay for it.
They don't. Not for very long, anyways. If they don't die from health complications (and they usually do) they die from other causes. They die from exposure. They die from violence. They get killed in traffic. Occasionally, they pull themselves together and dry out but this doesn't happen nearly enough.
Life as an alcoholic on the streets tends to be a short one.
.....Post 10 from The Long March sums it up for me...over the last 29 years I’ve seen a lot of guys go thru detox and a lot of guys go thru AA...95% of alcoholics will die drunk...and BTW the oldest recovery group is not AA....it’s the Salvation Army...they’ll give a guy a bunk, supper and a job in the thrift store if he wants to try and help himself....if not, there’s little that can be done.
In CA incarceration in state prison cost $49k per year.
How about this for a solution. Find an out of way place and give the inebriates all the free booze they want. I imagine most of them would just stay there. Call it “Big Rock Candy Mountain.”
These people, and their political accomplices, have turned much of San Francisco into a sewer. San Francisco has actually shut down fountains to prevent inebriates from using them as toilets.
Give him 2 gallons of Everclear.
Little that can be done?
How about a stockade in Alaska? “OK, here’s are your [equipment]. If you [do your work: pick up trash, clean up campgrounds, etc.] you get something other than gruel for [breakfast, lunch, dinner].”
The REAL tragedy is that conservatives let @#$!%! “Liberals” make and interlocking set of petty rules that PREVENTS these people being put into a situation where they:
1) Are less likely to harm themselves or others, and
2) Are more likely to help themselves or others.