71% of the city's homeless had housing in the city before becoming homeless.

victim blaming

This entire topic is a perfect illustration of the concept of victim blaming, as defined by William Ryan in his 1971 book Blaming the Victim. (How the poor are blamed for the paucity of low income housing, including facts such as /u/durhg found that counter the conventional wisdom, is even addressed in the book.)

Rather than facing a structural problem (in this case, economic disparity and unequal/nonexistent housing distribution) ingrained in the status quo, people (even well meaning ones) unconsciously make assumptions about what the victims (or the class they belong to) are doing to create their dire circumstances and the problems they pose to broader society.

That way people can focus on "solving" the root of the problem without any threat to an existing system that is favorable to the observers (where the problem really lies).

/r/sanfrancisco Thread Parent