I know several people that have been fired after they took a mandatory random drug test. First thing they did? Apply for state benefits! It's not right that I work and am required to stay "clean" in order to keep my job because I am subject to random tests. Yet, people using the state aid don't have this same requirement? I am not saying people are abusing welfare or anything like that. I'm simply saying let's set a standard so that it is the same for those working and those not working.
If a working man may need to pass a drug test to keep his job, then people receiving aid should need to meet at least a similar standard. State aid goes to people in need of basic requirements. This would be water, fire, shelter and food. Nowhere are illegal drugs mentioned as a basic need.
Using drugs for many is the only way they can numb their emotional angst and cope with everything on their plate. These people need help in finding some other way to cope and managing the life issues that are overwhelming. Denying aid only leaves them with more angst and further reasons to turn to drugs. So, give aid but also help with their personal problems.
If welfare applications have to apply for a drug test, why not driver license applicants, why not potential employees, why not randomly test everyone? It is because of discrimination. And before I hear an "it's because we don't want welfare bums abusing the system", whose do say they are even guilty of doing that anyways? Just because they use recreational drugs does not mean they are addicted, and if they are, doesn't that make their need for housing and food any less necessary than someone without a drug problem?
And for those who say they don't want their money to be spent on that, again you are discriminating. Taxes help pay for schools, but do you think it would be proper if it were mandatory to drug test students at registration? (Because ew, filthy druggie kids don't deserve an education, we pay taxes for that!) People wouldn't be comfortable with that idea because it is a violation of your rights. It is a human right to receive shelter and food, who are you to deny people of this right?
Also people who are in oppressed or disadvantaged groups tend to be the ones who are more likely to abuse substances, especially if those disadvantages intersect. It's a coping mechanism because our society isn't perfect, it often sets up people for failure, provides them with no services to help them out, and then blames the victim.
A common misconception about homeless people is that their drug addiction lead to their homelessness, when in reality, there are some at risk groups that are more likely to be homeless:
men, lgbt, and foster kids.
Men are likely to become homeless because often the cheapest providers for a place to stay are room for rent. People tend to be cautious about men, and the majority prefer a female roommate.
Lgbt youth (especially trans) are more likely to be kicked out for their sexual orientation. Youth typically don't know the services available to them, and can try to make it on the streets before finding their way to a shelter.
Foster kids are more likely to end up homeless because at 18 years old, they are kicked out. Obviously this isn't the perfect standard, as not everyone is perfectly capable of living on their own the day of their 18th birthday.
When these people try to end their homelessness, it can be a struggle. Our economy is tough, unemployment is high, therefore competition is high. If you are at a disadvantage in any way (no assets like car, phone, internet) it can mean you can't even apply to a job, or you may be discriminated against getting a job.
When you're homeless, you tend to have a lot of time on your hands. You get to spend that time self pitying, lonely, scared or resentful. The homeless are about 3 times more likely to commit suicide. It shouldn't be held against you to try to cope, especially to deny you basic human rights.