You know how the Board of Supervisors are trying to make up for some $17 million spent annually on medical care and law enforcement related to alcohol abuse by taxing all alcohol sold? Well, as ABC 7 reports, another controversial method they have of lowering the taxpayer burden for caring for drunks is setting up a "wet house," something Seattle has already done, where chronic inebriates who mostly live on the streets can receive free housing and medical care, while they continue drinking.
The idea is that these people likely aren't going to stop drinking, and they represent a huge burden on emergency medical care one study suggests that 225 of San Francisco's street drunks accounted for 2,000 of last year's ambulance calls for which the city footed the bill. These chronic inebriates, in fact, account for about $13 million of the $17 million cited by Supervisor John Avalos that is spent annually by the city on alcohol-related crime, care, and recovery services. Providing homes and medical supervision to chronic drunks would, in theory, reduce the burden on law enforcement and emergency medical care, while still enabling the drinking part. Both mayoral hopeful Bevan Dufty and Gavin go on the record in ABC 7's report as supporting such a "wet house," which the city of Seattle says saved them $4 million last year. But if the drunks are free to come and go as they please, aren't they just going to end up passed out or falling on their faces on the sidewalk anyway? Watch below.