We are afraid to admit that the crisis of homelessness is our fault, even though the solution to homelessness is simple: provide housing for everyone.
Tag Archives: housing
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.
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.
Alex, who has been homeless for years, should not be worried about being set on fire while he sleeps on the streets. And, he should not be worried about his next meal or where he will sleep tonight.
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.
A worker needs to earn $33 per hour to rent an average apartment in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. If that wage level were implemented in 2015, the average household would need more than two employed persons in order to afford a typical apartment.
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.