Can we just parcel out a huge acreage of unused land, and allow the homeless to set up their own civilization. They will have a barter system and build towns. At first they will be shanty towns, but eventually they'll become better developed. They'll have elections and representatives. They'll be on the "outside" of contemporary American society. We'll teach our children in school never to wonder too far into the woods. They'll teach children never to wonder past the tree line. Drug addicts and criminals will be dealt with promptly by those seeking peace. Eventually, we'll strike trade deals with them for the goods and produce they grow when our incorporated farms fail to supply us. We'll reform our justice system, those whose offenses are bad enough to cast away but not bad enough to warrant spending tax dollars housing will be sent away to live in the wild west.
It sounds ridiculous, but it could really work. And I think it would be kind of rad.