one single comment struck me from a recent SF Weekly article
I don’t think people realize just how many people are scamming the system. In 10 years of living in close proximity to the welfare state, I have seen one single workfare person, while seeing hundreds of 20 year olds on social security, exempt from all implied social contracts as described below. This is a huge part of the $500 million San Francisco spends every year on social services. It’s far bigger than most people know, and it’s rare to see somebody speak out about it, because so many people in San Francisco politics are directly involved in it. It also gives a bad name to those who really are legitimately disabled
But it only works as long as the money keeps rolling in. It only works as long as there are working people left to pay for it
Thanks very much for bringing to light the very serious abuses that occur when people are allowed to have “Psychiatric Service Animals.” I am a psychotherapist in a free medical clinic in the Tenderloin and have been asked several times to sign letters that would allow people to have service animals in their city, state or federally-subsidized housing. I make it a policy never to sign these letters I encourage my colleagues to not do so as well. Personally and professionally, I feel the whole idea of “Psychiatric Service Animals,” with very few legitimate exceptions, is a load of horse-pukey. Our society is creating, with ADA as the tool, a class of people for whom the rules of our society and our implied social contracts do not apply. It does not help people to exempt them from the rules and laws that apply to everyone else in our society. and in fact it causes them harm.
Frequently, I am asked by people perfectly capable of fulfilling their civic obligations to write letters exempting them from jury duty, work-fare expectations for their General Assistance checks, and standing in lines for services due to alleged disorders such as “social anxiety disorder.” One patient frankly admitted that he couldn’t to do his General Assistance workfare because he uses speed all day.
By exempting people from reasonable societal expectations and fostering and over-identification with “disability,” we professions involved in this do more harm than good. I would go so far as to say it oppresses people even more than they already may be. K. Marcus Hartsfield, MFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist