Tristine Rainer

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Tristine Rainer
Posted 10 months ago
Rather than tear down housing in Detroit, let's repurpose it to house, treat and rehab our nation's mentally ill homeless citizens.
Steven Why, I agree with you 100% And Larry, please check yourself for unconscious stigmatizing of the mentally ill. You tried to discount my argument by saying only a crazy person could hold it. I don't think I set it forth because I'm crazy, but because I'm at the point where I think satire may be the only way to really look at our intransigent mistreatment of the homeless, the mentally ill, and the addicted in our country.
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Tristine Rainer
Posted 10 months ago
Rather than tear down housing in Detroit, let's repurpose it to house, treat and rehab our nation's mentally ill homeless citizens.
Thank-you, Fritzie, for the link to SAMSHA. I have in the past checked out their activities in L.A. There was a conference downtown for professionals in the field where the ticket price started at $179. I imagined a room full of professionals lobbying for funding for their particular community based mental health center. Am I wrong? The agency supposedly serving my daughter does not want her to leave her current location, even though it is where she became addicted to meth, and anyone knows you have to get out of the environment where using in order to overcome such a serious addiction. She begged to be sent to rehab, but she only has Medicare and Medical, and while the new affordable health act demands parity for mental health and substance abuse treatment from private insurers - Medicare and Medical are exempted. Those few rehab facilities in Los Angeles that will accept Medical have waiting lists of 6 to 9 months. Medicare is not accepted for rehab. I see a lack of will on the part of her "housing" agency ( that has no housing) to let go of her - because she brings in income for them each year her FSP status is renewed. What is needed is a national commitment from the top, as Kennedy shot for the moon, as Nixon announced a War on Cancer, as Bush pushed AIDS treatment for South Africans. Regionally it is everyone fighting for their own turf.
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Tristine Rainer
Posted 10 months ago
Rather than tear down housing in Detroit, let's repurpose it to house, treat and rehab our nation's mentally ill homeless citizens.
Wow Jim, this is valuable information. I have not been inside the buildings you describe in Detroit, but I have been inside the buildings in Los Angeles where my adopted, now 32 year old daughter, has stayed sporadically since she has been homeless, both before and after and receiving community services in Los Angeles. The places she stays and tries to make livable are "infested with fungus, rats, fleas, drug dealers, and a legion of diseases", and bedbugs. And Fritzie, I would rather fly to visit my mentally disabled, traumatized daughter in her own hovel in Detroit than to see her spend another cold winter in the riverbed or next to the freeway with her tent and sleeping bag and all her possessions and I.D. stolen from her - and further traumatized by her dog being killed and being beaten up herself . The solution is not just more money for the private/public partnerships that have become the community mental health industry. The County of Los Angeles gives enough money every year - just for my mentally disabled daughter - to pay rent for her to live in L.A., but instead of paying for her rent that public money goes to a privately own agency that pays it to mostly uncaring employees to sit in their offices and dispense her SSI check. What every homeless person needs first of all is a home - no matter how humble. The agency owns no homes and every list for supportive housing in L.A. is closed. The question is how to provide such homes - rather than letting them be bought up by the Chinese - while there is housing in the U.S. that is still cheap. Also please consider that many homeless people are capable of the physical work of cleaning up a place to make it livable if guided what to do, how to do it, and re-enforced and rewarded. What is missing is the will and the way. I don't have it, either. But I cannot stay silent after hearing my daughter's voice on a cellphone, "Please don't let me die on the street, Mom."
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Tristine Rainer
Posted 10 months ago
Rather than tear down housing in Detroit, let's repurpose it to house, treat and rehab our nation's mentally ill homeless citizens.
I concede your point that bigger is not necessarily cheaper or more efficient. I was visualizing planned communities in locations scattered throughout Detroit where presently there are mostly abandoned buildings. I also grant you that the costs of being dislocated from family and from what is familiar would adversely effect already traumatized people. But many, actually most, homeless people are already dislocated from family, and their communities are built around the necessities of living in a tent city in a riverbed or on sharing drugs of choice. I suspect there are some healing communities that have been built around community health care services and classes, and I think it would be valuable to know where there positive communities of common interest are thriving and why. But for the vast majority of homeless people who are preyed upon by those outside and inside their current communities it could be a positive change to be protected in a new compassionate and structured community..
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Tristine Rainer
Posted 10 months ago
Rather than tear down housing in Detroit, let's repurpose it to house, treat and rehab our nation's mentally ill homeless citizens.
Yes, it would be better to serve the homeless and addicted mentally ill in their neighborhoods. That is the present model of community based mental health care. But it is not working because it was underfunded and now, as Ullysses quite legitimately and eloquently stated, minus the railroad cars and cargo containers, so that the consumers are "abused, mistreated, neglected and abandoned by underpaid caregivers and greedy business people." It's time for a new model that incorporates what some very smart people have learned about treating trauma and addiction. It should be based on observation of models that are working in the United States and around the world. Community organizations need to be part of the discussion. But just as the present dire situation was partly caused by defunding mental hospitals - to reverse things, we again need a radical re-imagining. And that re-imagining needs to include a huge repurposing of housing. Building and repurposing housing in neighborhoods is a great idea, but it won't happen fast enough. Centralizing gives you all kinds of economies of scale. Yes, my proposal is somewhat like Jonathan Swift's recommendation that the Irish solve hunger by eating babies, but perhaps worth thinking through to address all the things that could go wrong and building a structure that minimizes that.