Homelessness: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Homelessness: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

With homelessness increasing nationwide, John Oliver takes a look at the way we discuss the unhoused, what policy failures are making the problem worse, and how we can help.

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47 Comments

  1. [Zimblast] on November 2, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Note blue dot in a red state! This started well but he got so political again

  2. Julie on November 2, 2021 at 11:18 am

    I have a masters degree from UPenn yet I’m homeless…in New Jersey there are houses completely empty while people sleep on the street…I worked at homeless clinics for years…in NJ they arrest you for what I call " creating crime" because there is no crime in South Jersey so you see cops and the criminal justice system is destroying people’s lives over trespassing, loitering, petty possession, and then you can get a job…I’m so tired of being homeless and it’s exhausting thank God I have an emotional support dog but they won’t allow my emotional support dog to live in the hotels and although I don’t do drugs, many people turn to street drugs without appropriate mental health care and My masters degree is in Counseling Psychology and I can’t even help myself how can I help others? It’s so upsetting it makes you not want to live because it’s not a life…I lost my parents to cancer, my brother killed himself, 😢, and my boyfriend of 17 years died and the coroner only said it was cardiac arrest but would’ve explain why his heart stopped…we all die from cardiac arrest which just means our hearts stop, it’s what causes the heart to stop that is important like did he get a macheted, did a bus hit him, or did he have pneumonia which caused him to die? Anyway, I have NO FAMILY AND THE ONLY FRIENDS I HAVE ARE IN THE SAME SITUATION…ITS SO FRUSTRATING AND SAD AND I FINALLY FOUND A HOUSE TO RENT AND THE PERSON WHO OWNS THE HOUSE IS AN ALCOHOLIC WHO DRINKS EVERYDAY AND IS VERBALLY ABUSIVE AND ALWAYS ASKING ME TO DO INAPPROPRIATE THINGS. I’M GRATEFUL THAT I HAVE A ROOM AND MY DOG WITH ME BUT THE ABUSE THAT I AM SUFFERING FROM HIS ALCOHOLISM IS SO HARMFUL TO THE SAFETY OF MYSELF AND MY DOG…I SPENT LAST WINTER AT A SHELTER BUT LIKE THE OTHERS IN THIS VIDEO HAVE SAID, YOU HAVE TO BE IN BY 7 PM AND OUT BY 7AM AND THEY PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO THE LIBRARY WHERE YOU HAVE TO SIT OUTSIDE IN FREEZING COLD FROM 7:30 UNTIL THE LIBRARY OPENS AT 10 AM DUE TO COVID, WHICH IS A MAJOR PROBLEM IN AND OF ITSELF…PLEASE KNOW THAT I AM SO GRATEFUL TO THE STAFF AND RANDOM PEOPLE WHO HAVE HELPED ME BUT WHEN YOU HAVE NO ONE, ITS SO TOUGH TO UTILIZE RESOURCES LIKE SOCIAL SERVICES WHO HAVE HELPED ME TREMENDOUSLY! BUT, THEY SET YOU UP AT A MOTEL FOR A FEW DAYS THEN SAY COME BACK ON WHATEVER DAY AND ITS SO FRUSTRATING BECAUSE HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET BACK THERE WITHOUT TRANSPORTATION BECAUSE THE BUSSES IN SOUTH JERSEY SUCK, AND ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO WALK THE 15 MILES…IM SO SORRY FOR COMMENTING IN A MANIC WAY AND FOR THE LENGTH OF MY COMMENT BUT I APPRECIATE HAVING A FORUM TO JUST GET THESE THINGS OF MY CHEST AND HOPEFULLY SHARING INFORMATION THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO AND HOW OTHERS MAY MISUNDERSTAND WHAT BEING HOMELESS REALLY ENTAILS 😞. Thanks for allowing me to speak and I hope & wish that everything gets better for everyone, homeless or not. It’s important for all of us to understand each other and the plight that all people endure EVERYDAY! PEACE AND LOVE TO EVERYONE ✌

  3. Benny2Toes on November 2, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Laziness…

  4. Ric Vicious on November 2, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Lol! Look at all them downvotes. The unhinged, racist, evil, dying repud minority sure hated this one! Poor cancer, lol!

  5. Judith Smith on November 2, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Divert money from the military industrial complex to the homeless.

  6. When the earth is turned into a gripping dungeon on November 2, 2021 at 11:23 am

    i never thought i would hear that old gem in a LWT piece about homelessness, but here we are.

  7. Lux Interior on November 2, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Keep believing it’s the rich vs the poor. That has worked so well for so long, right? Over 90% of homeless are drug addicted, alcoholics or mentally disturbed. I have no sympathy for junkies or drunks. It’s not a disease. You can’t contract drug abuse
    They overreacted to Geraldo’s expose in the 70’s, closed the sanitariums and doomed the insane to a life on the streets. Reap what you sow.

  8. H. Ellis on November 2, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Speaking as an Austinite the homeless problem has been out of control for years and now it is absolutely INSANE. This is an expensive city- STOP COMING HERE

  9. hordeofswords on November 2, 2021 at 11:27 am

    People don’t have an understanding of what it’s like. I ended up getting evicted from an apartment because my father had died. He died suddenly and I had to travel out of town for his funeral before my rent was due. I explained to the office it would be late, why and I would pay the fees. I paid it the day I returned as they only took checks and I didn’t get paid until after I left town. Since I lived paycheck to paycheck, no savings. I took a LOA from my job for the better part of a month and stayed with my mom to help her get settled. I returned back to my apartment to pay the next months rent to find they had evicted me while I was gone, stating I never paid them, even though I still had the money order stub and they cashed it. It seems they filed an eviction notice the day after I told them I was going to be late and my court date was while I was away and so the court found in their favor because I didn’t show up. I was blacklisted from apartments for a long time because of that. I had to put my belongings in storage and lived in creepy motels, extended stays, or my car; all the while working a full time job. I never felt safe or secure. Never had enough money for food because all my money went to my room and gas. Never knowing if the hotel would decide I had been there long enough and kick me out. I did this for a year and almost seven years later, I am traumatized by it still. It made me realize how messed up the system is and that some people end up being homeless through no fault of their own. It also made me quit my corporate job of over a decade to work for a non-profit that deals with advocacy for the homeless. Lots of people don’t realize that no matter how safe or secure you may feel — that any of us could end up being homeless through no fault of our own and you don’t know how hard it is, until you’ve lived it.

  10. Robert Strong on November 2, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for all you do ; I hope people will one day care about homelessness .

  11. Ken S on November 2, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Liberal BS.

  12. Fresh Haus on November 2, 2021 at 11:28 am

    One man made 36 billion in a day just this past week. That’s the context for this.

  13. Jan Constantin on November 2, 2021 at 11:30 am

    When Seth Green says "hm" it probably means "I call bullshit".

  14. Dang Khoa Vo on November 2, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Tonight on how to spin homelessness into more spending by the government.

  15. go eagles on November 2, 2021 at 11:32 am

    As if homeless people can’t see a camera man.

  16. Katerine Ella on November 2, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Reagan said this stupid, insensitive thing ‘n 1985. I just a few weeks ago heard supposedly intelligent people speaking from their self satisfied middle class lives saying the same thing. People are homeless because they want to live that way. How can people be so blind and cruel?

  17. Clara Castilho Oliveira on November 2, 2021 at 11:34 am

    That’s why no one likes libs.

    Jokes aside though, housing for everyone is really a communist fight.

  18. Robert Corozza on November 2, 2021 at 11:38 am

    I was homeless, too. I did something stupid and got evicted from the apartment complex I was living in with two family members.

    With no place to go, and out of work, I went to Dept of Social Services. They placed me in a shelter, which by all appearances was just a normal house from the outside. Only 10-20 guys lived in it. The previously $200/month I got in food stamps, was taken by the govt, and they paid my “rent”, which was like $495/month. I shared a room with three other guys. Two bunk beds on either side of the room.

    I lived there for 14 months, 15 days. It was awful. It was infested with bed bugs. At one point there was no hot water for three months. Eventually, it was condemned and they had to place us in other places.

    I went to live with an old friend I had befriended since living there.

    Fast forward to today, I live in a one bedroom apt that is 1500/month and have a job making 50-55k/year….but I never will forget that period of time. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  19. erik aaron on November 2, 2021 at 11:38 am

    The image of Ellen talking to her staff is hell-arious! Or is it former staff? If so, good riddance to a war monger lover!

  20. haanjamiis on November 2, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Ahh, the richest country in the world…

  21. Liam Leaver on November 2, 2021 at 11:41 am

    You can’t arrest someone out of homelessness just like you can’t tax yourself out of poverty.

  22. Neurotypical Kirby on November 2, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Well, machete guy is clearly protecting his 1st amendment with his second one.

  23. Ciny on November 2, 2021 at 11:42 am

    If the homeless didn’t have mental health issues they certainly will after a couple of nights of non-stop babyshark.

  24. First Last on November 2, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Ok but that lady is on crack obviously

  25. jlotus100 on November 2, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Just give people homes. This isn’t a hard concept unless you’re a fucking asshole.

    And yeah, do it in my town. I’m good with it.

  26. MissKK660 on November 2, 2021 at 11:43 am

    The lady with 2 kids has a husband who doesn’t work while she works a low income job. Why isn’t he working 2nd shift? You know why, because they’d lose food stamps and medical from the state if more came in. There’s no other reason to explain it unless he’s illegally here. 150 bucks is him working just 15 hours a week somewhere so his family isn’t homeless. That’s completely their fault and could have been avoided had he just got a part time job. Even on the weekends. That story is a shit example. Two able bodied people with a disabled son who qualifies for disability benefits, the husband could get a stipend to care for him. Show me people who really have issues, because this family created their own

  27. Debbie Bloom on November 2, 2021 at 11:44 am

    I don’t know how billionaires come live with themselves hoarding all the money instead of using it to help others especially the unhoused. That should come before going to space for fun.
    I can only afford to give very small amounts to a bunch of different charities and I feel guilty about it. I could never just sit and hoard more money than I would need for my own life time.

    The greed in this country is gross, I hope that we can build those support apartments for everyone he needs them.

    There’s a podcast I heard of recently called we the unhoused if you want to hear more voices of those experiencing homelessness and they have a patreon to if you want to help out the podcast.

  28. Jonathan Cederlund on November 2, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Glad to see that the "these people were f-ed by society and they need help and someone should help them but why do I have to think of anyone but myself and why do I even have to know these people exist at all"-sentiment thrives in other countries than my own ^^

  29. eagle on November 2, 2021 at 11:44 am

    I wish this program had more a bit more international focus instead of being US centric (like the WHO, FIFA things, Global finance schemes, etc).

  30. plaguedoc 2020 on November 2, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Clermont huh? It looks like the California wildfire took place in the wrong section of the state. Because if any Community deserves to have everything they’ve worked for burnt down and Blown Away in ashes, and forced into the same circumstances those that they demonize…

  31. kill_your _ego on November 2, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Most humans don’t understand, that homelessness is largely made of up of those with mental health issues. Mental health issues, drug use, a combination of both, and those who just truly don’t feel they fit in.

  32. Aragorn on November 2, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Finland did go down the housing first route, and it worked—it basically solved homelessness there.

  33. Charles Snyder on November 2, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Thanks. My wife and I considering moving to Europe for retirement this and Joe Manchin have made up my mind.

  34. Cowboy Hank on November 2, 2021 at 11:46 am

    It is so stereotypically American to always talk about the businesses and crime rate. I’ve never heard such things in my country, and I’m convinced it has to be related to all the fearmongering in US media, especially on the right.

  35. Gabe Lippincott on November 2, 2021 at 11:51 am

    This segment is amazing breaking news there are a lot of homeless that want to be homeless, I ran a soup kitchen for 2 years and worked with housing, mental health and addiction is the overwhelming reason people are homeless, but why do this segment you show a fox News report to blame Republicans because that’s what you do, then shownothing bi/ overwhelming democratic cities, and just giving people houses does work because I live in Philly and talk to the multiple housing groups and they will give you the real truth, and please don’t compare homeless veterans to the others someone who sacrifice for this country should never be homeless

  36. Kevante Reese on November 2, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Thanks now the whole world can see how San Francisco treats its homeless people and then act like they don’t know why it’s happening they make it virtually impossible to get help if you’re not dying

  37. fleghel on November 2, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Hey, don’t go to school, get pregnant early, don’t aspire to have a better job, and most of all- make sure you camp on this dude mans property, or al least close enough so that he can smell you shit… let’s see how his “stats” numbers gonna sound then.

  38. alex vw on November 2, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    Wauw, You can really upgrade your wellfare en healthcare in america. We pay much more taxes in the netherlands and nobody Has to live like your homeless countryman. I would say, start raising taxes on people that end with the name "Trump".

  39. Anon Ymous on November 2, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Great job with the coverage!

  40. Chan y on November 2, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    NIMB – but I agree….my house value would probably go down, which means rent has to go down, but my mortgage is the same – so who is going to help me when I can’t cover my mortgage? (Worked hard to be a landlord of one house and life in a small flat now to make money)

    And addicts usually have a certain behaviour so what do we do now?

  41. Black Pepperz on November 2, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Wow, this gonna be interesting in the near future. The lower end of the middle class is sucked downward while the income gap widens in a faster and faster pace. The mindset in the US does not allow for a working welfare system. Automation is picking up speed, with less and less demand for humans in all areas of life. Within 15 years the typical middle class jobs will be hit the hardest. If you are a white collar office dude, do you really think you can’t be replaced?

  42. MrSlowestD16 on November 2, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Dammmmn this was so biased 😕. Really unfortunate when talking about such an important issue like this. I’m not even right leaning but this so so biased it’s hard not to call it out.

    Where should they set up low income housing? Next door to you, John. It’s really easy to pretend people are being unreasonable when it’s not your livelihood that’s being taken away with depreciation. It’s so disingenuous to say the crime is just one guy’s 90,000 trespassing infractions. I’ve worked in a city with a huge homeless population and every day I saw the craziest shit. I’ve seen people shoot drugs right into the head of their dick, seen a bum try to take a kid out of a stroller, seen one do a line off an outdoor restaurant table (of which he was obviously not a patron), it’s bonkers, and claiming that that doesn’t happen and it’s just inflated #’s is a really really bad take. My last apt was right next to TWO **GATED** section 8 housing units, and it was a cluster fuck. The cops were *always* there for some domestic dispute or drug situation, there was frequently druggies outside looking to score, it was a mess. People don’t want that shit outside their doorstep.

    The problem is you’re mischaracterizing it as a money issue and saying it’s not a mental health. You need to come down from your fancy ass mansion and see these people first hand. Mentally many of these people are *fucked* . They need serious help. Sure, sometimes the shelters are not fair to them, that’s a fair point, but in my city we have open beds but the homeless opt not to take them because many of them don’t allow drugs. Others do allow drugs (or so I’ve heard), IDK if those are all full or not though. There is definitely a housing aspect to this, but it’s so disingenuous to claim that’s the only side to this. There is a *HUGE* mental health epidemic behind this as well. You’re quick to blame it on Regan, and it’s true that it is his fault, but you leave out that it was because he *closed* many mental health institutions and that forced mental health patients onto the street with nobody to care for them. Really unfortunate that you have a platform to educate about an important topic that affects everybody regardless of party but instead decide to just tow the party line and not address the other issues that come into play.

  43. Mark Nuckols on November 2, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Sell the car and use the cash to cover the $150 increase in rent.

  44. WTFViewer on November 2, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    I believe the term Jon was looking for, when describing why NIMBY exists and people don’t want homeless anywhere near them, is "economic supremacy", when the person with a decent life thinks they are better than everyone economically beneath them. This mutates from "I’m better than those below me", to "I’m smarter and better than everyone below me", to "those below me are not human", "those below me are criminals and / or lazy", and most importantly, "There is no way I’d ever become like them through some astronomically small chance that ruins my entire life – it’s not possible". I’m disabled, and I can tell you that it can happen to any of you, and in a split second, you can’t work. No work = homeless. All it takes is one car accident.

    I’m not homeless. I’m the exception, because I live with my parents. Most people can’t, because their parents are dead or in assisted living / retirement homes / hospice. The car accident I was in required experimental surgery, and 30+ years later, the surgery itself ruined my spinal cartilage to the point where walking, moving, lifting, bending, twisting, standing up, sitting down, etc, hurts from 6 – 9 on a 10 scale of pain. People see the pain in my face, and half of them think I’m crazy. The other half see me limp (to avoid setting off spasms as much as possible), and they think I’m faking. They couldn’t possibly know what’s broke inside me unless I tell them, and mere words can’t convey the pain. The result is that they don’t want to see me at all. They don’t want to believe that at any second, it could be them in my position (or in the homeless’ position). They don’t want to believe that everything could be taken from them in an instant, and leave them alive, but with nothing.

    It scares the shit out of them, and rightfully so. We take most of life for granted. That’s why billionaires exist and they have taken over our government, ever since they started actively taking it over in Reagan’s time (remember, the first massive wave of illegal immigrants for cheap labor happened under Reagan, around an estimated 3 million, if I remember correctly). They keep raising prices but keeping wages the same and taking away hours and benefits. Even Republican Herman Cain was famous for saying "the rent’s too damned high!" The wealthy and their corporations (including and especially Fox News) have been lying through their teeth that it’s the fault of the homeless, when it’s actually the wealthy taking too much and giving too little. Where I live, it requires $50,000 a year (~$25 an hour, 40 hours a week) just to break with no safety margin for car repairs, unexpected illness / surgery, etc. You can’t live on minimum wage, and disability (at least for me) pays LESS than minimum wage after taxes. Where I live, rent starts at $1000 / month for studio apartments. There’s nothing left for food at that rate, much less anything else.

    This must end. This is why there are "worker shortages", where the people are fed up risking their lives to NOT get paid enough to live on – not exist, but to LIVE on, with some savings for retirement age. Only a national strike, or a revolution, will stop the billionaires from turning what’s left of America into a feudal corporate state with no Constitution. The Supreme Court already threw precedent out the window by allowing another attack on Roe vs. Wade to succeed in Texas, throwing 50 years of precedent out the window. If you can’t trust the courts for justice, it’s time for torches and pitchforks, and 5 million peaceful people with guns to shut down DC until the wealthy finally listen to their bosses – US. We need to act before it’s too late. Otherwise, it’ll be a Thousand Years of Darkness under the wealthy corporate nobility, with all our God-given rights stripped away.

  45. NewName Pending on November 2, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    My wife and I have a 3 year old autistic son. We went to a shelter. They separated me from my family because I’m not my sons biological father. My wife has severe PTSD and is unable to take care of our child by herself most of the day. The shelter made it worse. She had quit smoking with my help. The shelter stressed her so much, she’s now back on cigarettes. Just as the lady said, the shelters have a strict schedule, that you cannot deviate from or you lose your bed. Meaning that if I got a job during sleeping hours, I’d be unable to rest during the day. We are lucky enough to live in a low crim rate area, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable leaving my wife and son alone on the streets at night or even in the day, just to get am underpaid 9-5.

    Thank you for covering this, John.

  46. j n on November 2, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Love you, cae

  47. Dang Khoa Vo on November 2, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    And not a single word about the potential hundreds of thousands homeless people at the border.

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