Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Wonkette's Sex Change | Southern Hospitality »

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Help the Homeless: Buy Them Booze

Posted by on January 4 at 12:54 PM

A study published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that giving homeless adults plenty of booze to drink improved their behavior

Seventeen homeless adults, all with long and chronic histories of alcohol abuse, were allowed up to 15 glasses of wine or sherry a day — a glass an hour from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. — in the Ottawa-based program, which started in 2002 and is continuing.

After an average of 16 months, the number of times participants got in trouble with the law had fallen 51 percent from the three years before they joined the program, and hospital emergency room visits were down 36 percent.

The Stranger was, as we sometimes are, ahead of the curve on this one. In 2002 Charles Mudede made this modest proposal:

Most of the problems associated with pubic intoxication (public vomiting, urination, and other disturbances) are caused by off-premises consumption, or public drinking. If there were more opportunities for homeless people to drink in private, most of these unpleasant activities would be significantly reduced. The solution? Open bars in the homeless shelters—preferably in the basements of these shelters—which would keep drinkers, and the effects of their drinking, out of public sight. True, there would still be people begging, but the deleterious effects of drinking would be moved indoors. The shelter bar would sell cheap but potent forms of alcohol, and not in mugs or cups or cans, but in big plastic buckets that require considerable effort to carry from the bar to the table. (The tables should be made of thick wood like the tables in the Comet Tavern.) The reason for buckets is they would foster communal drinking and communal bonds.

The only thing Charles got wrong was not proposing that the booze be given away for free, as was the case in Ottawa. We shouldn’t just open bars in homeless shelters, but open open bars.

CommentsRSS icon

Fans of Dan Savage's blog posts might want to check:

gawker, defamer, deadspin, americablog, rawstory, perezhilton, etc...

It's nice to know you are committed to recycling, but isn't the intent of the blog to offer some original content not found in your print edition or elsewhere on the web 2 days ago?

Once upon a time, there were not massive numbers of older homeless men roaming Seattle. The men were here, but they lived in cheap flophouses ($25-100 a month) in Belltown, worked casual labor, and drank themselves harmlessly insensible in the many dive bars. The flophouses, bars, and most of the casual labor are gone, but the men are still here.

Ahem, *: The story I linked to today about the radical Hindus I found when I opened my NYT this morning. The mom from Kent I read about in my Seattle Times this AM; the mom and dad in Vegas I read about at Breitbart; a friend in NYC sent me the link to the story about the Mormons gettin' shot; the homeless drunk story I found on Breitbart and Mudede's piece I found on, der, the Stranger's website. When I link to something I saw on Americablog, Kos, et all, I say so.

I've never been to deadspin or perezhilton, but I'll start going—thanks!

Deadspin is a sportsblog that covers all aspects of athletics: sex scandals, arrests, robbery... it's pretty entertaining.

Everything is recycled. And, I didn't know Charles Mudede was a visionary, a person who is given to audacious, highly speculative, or impractical ideas or schemes; dreamer. That was original.

Mudede is not only a visionary, but I think he pioneered the one-glass-of-wine-every-hour-from-7AM-to-10PM diet.

It's true that there's a little to much Americablog recycling here at SLOG. However, the SLOG also has a track record of breaking local news. Just a few: Paul Berendt stepping down as State Dem Chair; Megan Seling's FSU story; the Lori Sotelo scandal; Casey Corr jumping from the Conlin race to the Drago race; and, oh yeah, the monorail's $11 billion debt service plan!!!

And the Arts staff is breaking stuff all the time. I'm sure Brendan Kiley could list off a slew of his SLOG posts that were breaking local arts news.

Americablog is a boring pile of crap. I depend on SLOG to bring me the stuff I wouldn't have seen because Americablog is so miserable. Thanks SLOG! Also Americablog doesn't have david schmader or cienna miller.

Hey: Americablog is awesome. John rocks.

Also, breaking news isn't the point of every post or the job of each and every poster. Look at, say, Andrew Sullivan's website. He writes, he links, he comments. A lot of bloggers do.

I didn't mean to dog americablog-- it's great! It's just that it's for smart people and it isn't visually intuitive. I like your website because it's pretty and it makes me laugh. I don't like to be so "thinky".

That's Cienna MADRID, Ampersand.

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).