Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More government waste

Just in case some of you thought that I could complain generally about wasteful government spending but didn't have any direct experience, here's one local example of government stupidity.
In the city of Kalamazoo, MI, the Rickman House, a local homeless facility that currently has the facilities to house 84 homeless folks in order to give them sort of a 'half-way' house to stay in while they get on their feet.  The Rickman isn't a great place, it's an older, run-down building, with the current rooms being 150-200 square feet, but with common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
A federal grant, with matching state and local money, all totaled to be around $12.3 million was just given to the Rickman house for renovations.  I'm not a big fan of pouring this amount of money into a building for folks to sit outside of and smoke, panhandle, and be general public nuisances, but if a few people use it as it's intended to be used, to get back on their feet, then their contribution to the local economy will make it worthwhile.  Do the math though, and at 84 people,  that's $146,428 and change per person.  They could buy a house for each of those people and rent it to them for that sort of cost and still have a ton of money left over for maintenance of the house. 

Quoting the article at MLIVE:  Officials say the Rickman House plan fits the local 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, addressing a need for "transitional and supportive housing."

Here's the even bigger rub though:  with the renovations, they will increase the size of the efficiencies to make it only able to house 46 people.  So, let's do the math again:  $267,391 per person.  And somehow this fits the local 10-year plan to end homelessness by making 38 people homeless.

Government logic right there boys and girls.  I can't do it any better than that.

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