RealClearPolitics links to a Quillette article which at some length describes how we ended up with an out-of-control homelessness problem. It is a decent historical narrative which I will not recapitulate for you here. Instead I share the author's conclusion,
At this point, the only way to assist the homeless population is by protecting them from themselves. It may not be agreeable to them initially, but once they learn to manage their symptoms and their associated behaviors, they can regain their autonomy. The paradox of abundant choice is what creates a substantial burden for them, and they need to be cared for in an environment where they can gradually earn their freedom by demonstrating to medical and mental health professionals an ability to be competent custodians of themselves, thereby unburdening their fellow community members.
I’ll leave you with this question: Which is worse—giving people absolute freedom if they are a danger to themselves and others or temporarily revoking some of that freedom in order to provide them with services that will help them reintegrate and thrive in their respective environments? To me, the answer is clear. Respecting absolute autonomy enables the problem of homelessness without providing the incentives needed to begin the process of recovery. Benign apathy can result in the most extraordinary acts of cruelty.
These are thoughts with which I am in agreement, as long time readers know too well.