I’ll assume this is directed at me. I’m far from a liberal and don’t much care for some right wingers. I was born in late 71. Some of the first homelessness I saw was in the late 80’s early 90’s hitch hiking around California and the east coast. I don’t know where the decline started to really happen. It really shouldn’t be a political position. We all pay for these people to be locked up, released and re-locked up. As stated earlier in this thread though, cops usually leave these people to be because the law enforcement has become a business to generate revenue.
Wasn't my intent to make it personal. It's just that the "Reagan took away the funding for mental hospitals and the patients got dumped on the street" thing has been repeated so widely that LOTS of people of all political persuasions accept it as a true account of what really happened. Yet in reality the wheels were already well in motion. The 1981 federal spending cut may have hastened the inevitable by a small degree, but certainly didn't create the problem. Even if it had, blaming Reagan for merely signing a bill passed by a Democrat controlled House and a Democrat controlled Senate would still be an act of blame-shifting on the part of the Left.
But anyhow, I 100% agree with you that solving the problem shouldn't be a partisan issue, but in our current political environment, everything becomes a tool to bash the other side, sadly. I don't know the answer, but I believe a big part would be opening modern institutions where those struggling with mental illness can receive appropriate care in a safe environment. There would be much less opportunity for the ill to be exploited by unscrupulous "friends" and caregivers, mental health dollars would go further because its so much less expensive to provide care in a centralized setting, and it would provide a much more humane option for dealing with the more violent and criminal-minded in the ranks of the mentally ill than the arrests and incarceration occuring now, which in turn should better protect the public.
But anyone who thinks any Republican politician who proposes such an idea wouldn't immediately be accused of wanting to "lock away" the mentally ill, "turn back the clock," "bring back Nurse Ratched," etc., etc., hasn't been paying attention.