But calling in the Cavalry to address homelessness simply does not work. Being homeless is not a crime. Any action that might criminalize a person’s state of homelessness simply attracts a civil lawsuit that essentially shuts down a community’s ability to actually help those who need housing, and prevents a community from dealing with those on the streets who are actually breaking real laws.
Tag Archives: economy
Give a person a real home – a studio apartment would suffice – with regular supportive services, and you have ended homelessness, at least for that one person. Clearly, an apartment is way better than a shelter bed.
To date, we have never had a proposed building turned down. However, the bruises from past community battles still hurt. The misconceptions, the attacks, and the miseducation start as soon as a community gets word that a “homeless program wants to move in.”
Cities throughout California are seeing more tents on the sidewalk, sleeping bags in their parks, and bodies of sleeping people sprawled inside of business vestibules. They are clear signs that visible homelessness is increasing at an alarming rate.
The cost of higher tuition in America’s higher learning institutions is actually causing a more dramatic consequence on many of our country’s college students… more and more university students are going to bed hungry or are actually homeless.
In my tenure as the leader of a community based organization in Southern California, I have seen dozens of small agencies go out of business. Some of these charities performed amazing services for the most needy people in our society. They provided shelter for people living on the streets, counselling for women fleeing abuse, food […]
After 20 years, the work of ending homelessness is much more difficult. The people we help are much more chronically homeless than before. Our supporters are more jaded. Our community is less compassionate for people who have been on their streets for decades.
I wonder how the 650,000 people in New York and New Jersey who lost their homes during Hurricane Sandy would have responded if government officials had told them to wait a half a year, while they figure out a plan to help them?
But here in Los Angeles, where 44,000 of our neighbors have lost homes and live on our streets, the political power of these people we call “homeless” is so weak that it is okay for our community to put on hold any idea of a “state of emergency.”
What does it say when the United States—which has enough funds to build a house for every single person in the country, never mind every person who is homeless in New York City and Los Angeles—allows its citizens to languish on the streets?
It seems to me that if average American wages are not high enough to pay for the average rent—in the long run, all of our efforts to house those who are currently homeless will not end homelessness. We will simply be treading water.