Joel John Roberts
Posts by Joel John Roberts
People are starting to feel that the end of the recession is near, if not over. So, will empathy for people living on our streets be sustained?
Once upon a time, there was a large, bustling city called HomeTown that was hit by a devastating earthquake.
Is helping someone living on the streets move into an affordable apartment really the end game? For those of us who have been working for decades to house people who are homeless, move-in day is the beginning, not the end.
And, for every home marked by a “foreclosed” sign, there were new units of affordable housing being built. These residential structures, with their modern designs and colorful facades, stood tall and proud on what had once been depressed lots
Kidnapping is a serious accusation. It’s associated with missing children on milk cartons or snatched tourists in some far corner of the world, but it probably doesn’t make most of us think of people who are homeless. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the Detroit Police Department of kidnapping members of the city’s [...]
I am homeless, but I don’t I need your pity. Not even if I am a 66-year-old man, perched on the edge of the curb and looking like I should be in convalescent care. Or an anxious young mother, barely old enough to drive, sitting in a beat-up old car with a baby in the back seat. I don’t need, or want, your pity.
The sequestration saber-rattling on the other side of the country pronounced the end of White House tours and the annual Easter egg hunt, cuts that would “never” affect Jason or the thousands of other Americans living in subsidized housing. But when the federal government seized part of the funding of numerous important public programs, subsidized housing was one of them.
Larger agencies are effectively becoming the Home Depot within the system of ending homelessness. “Homeless agencies” are evolving into “home centers.” The distinction is simple: “Home” is more hopeful than “homeless.”
Is our struggling economy the culprit? There just isn’t enough money to spend on helping people who live on our streets. We can barely fund our police officers and firefighters. Teachers are being laid off and city workers are being furloughed. Maybe it’s easier to blame others than to figure out how to fund more housing….
It took six years to get to this opening, from the formation of a vision task force in 2007 to the moving in of some of the city’s most chronically homeless citizens.