From Homeless to Happy Hour: San Francisco’s Unbelievable ‘Healthcare’


By Jeff Childers

I filed this next article under ‘2024 Oddities,” even though the city’s program actually started four years ago, because of this literally unbelievable headline. The UK Daily Mail ran the appalling story headlined, “San Francisco is giving taxpayer-funded shots of vodka to homeless alcoholics in $5m program organizers claim ‘improves participants’ health’.

Presumably deployed through some fascist, ‘public-private partnership’ that’s filling the bank accounts of some well-connected humanist, the City of San Francisco has marked its second year of serving up bottles of beer, glasses of wine, and shots of vodka to homeless alcoholics. The booze is being served by nurses as part of the city’s laughable “managed alcohol program,” allegedly the City’s way of — I’m not making this up — “taking care of vulnerable homeless people.”

The ‘nurses’ raise their ‘patients’ spirits by serving them 1 or 2 drinks between three and four times a day — rationing out 1.7 ounces of vodka or other liquor (about a double shot), 5 ounces of wine (1 glass) or 12 ounces of beer (one bottle). According to the Mail, anonymous San Francisco ‘public health officials’ claimed without evidence that its managed alcohol program was estimated to have saved the City $1.7 million dollars every six months by reducing emergency room visits and hospital stays.

Let’s be honest: those aren’t nurses. They are waitresses. Or overqualified bartenders. All in all, it sounds like people are enjoying a pretty good time on the mean streets of Downtown San Fransisco.

The program is not without its critics. The story seems to have broken late last week after Adam Nathan, Board Chairman of the local Salvation Army, went down there and took a gander at the ‘program’ to see it for himself, then tweeted that the scheme more resembles an open bar than any kind of recognizable treatment program:

Last October, the San Fransisco Public Health Department quietly published a one-hour YouTube trying to explain its doubtful program (57:11). The hilarious comments below the video are worth a look, even if the video is just bureaucratic gobbledygook. One alert commenter requested, “can you send a keg to my house so I can manage my alcoholism at home?

There’s plenty of room for additional comments, if you’re inclined to add a sage word for the SFPHD.

Now. My first question is what happened to the concept of ‘enabling?’ I’m old enough to remember back in the day when enabling used to be a bad thing, or so they used to tell us. Do not enable people. But now, enabling is a good thing, so long as the government does it, and so long as truckloads of taxpayer largesse are attached so its win-win-win-win-win.

Second, this so-called ‘managed alcohol program’ for homeless drunks seems like an appalling example of how an unbridled utilitarian approach focused solely on narrow outcomes like ‘reducing emergency room visits’ leads straight to deeply unethical and dehumanizing policies. If not outright evil.

Finally, I’ll repeat my long-held suspicion that, if an amoral billionaire wanted to capture local officials by buying a few inexpensive elections, in order to intentionally destroy downtown real estate values so he could snap up mega-valuable properties for pennies on the dollar, this kind of thing would be a terrific way to do it.

At this point, the headlines pop up nearly every single day:

Or this one, from the New York Post just a couple weeks ago:

Even if it’s unintentional, and setting aside the program’s technocratic amorality and utter inhumanity, the City’s “managed alcohol program” is helping to rapidly destroy what was once the West Coast’s “crown jewel” of real estate. Which after all, is where the taxes come from to pay for the intoxicating progressive program.

For now, let’s label it “liberalism run amok.”

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In To Have and Have Not Walter Brennan plays an alcoholic.
Humphrey Bogart needs him to keep a secret, Brennan gets caught by the bad guys and they ply him with liquor to spill what he knows.
His shakes and health start to spiral down without drink, so they can use that to get info from him.

Now our medical community is doing this.
Just giving drunks drinks so they go away.
And the obama admin swore obamacare would not be using death panels.
Giving drunks more to drink is a sure-fire way to shorten their lives.
What happened to “First, Do No Harm?”
Michael obama would be proud as he/she used to turn poor people away in Chicago.

You gotta hand it to California Democrats. They can really grab ahold of a problem and render it down. At least in this program they seem to have some vague idea where the money is going. Unlike their big program to reduce homelessness.

Seems they’ve spent $24 billion over the past 5 years to reduce homessness. What they have is MORE homeless. What they DON’T have is any clue of where the money went. Nobody know. Yep, let’s do THIS all across the country.