neuhickman, if what you are advocating is providing housing for the homeless (not locked institutions, but housing) then I take back my remark. The solution to homelessness IS housing, but that's a solution that the free market can't provide.
Many of the chronic homeless are mentally ill, but "chronic homeless" only applies to about 10% of the homeless population: people who have been homeless a year or more, or who become homeless several times in a period of a couple of years.
"Housing first" programs target the chronic homeless by getting them into housing before addressing other problems--because, once the person is housed, those problems become MUCH easier to treat. Any problem a person might have becomes much worse on the street. As I have mentioned here before, in other cities (like Denver) they have found that providing "housing first" programs and case-management followup actually costs a great deal less than the emergency services (jail, emergency rooms, psych wards, detox) that they would have used if still on the street. Add to the fiscal benefit the community benefit of fewer homeless on the street and the social benefit of helping some of society's most miserable become, at least, more stable (and sometimes, back into productive members of society) and you've got a real option--a solution that works. It's not particularly cheap, and it's not particularly easy, but homelessness isn't a simple problem and it doesn't come with a simple answer.
Enough moralizing! More Sacramento photos!
Some photos I took last year on a tour of Globe Mills with my cheap phone camera. Hopefully I'll get to take some "after" shots soon.