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.
Tag Archives: poverty
Today, I wonder why America—a society that is so sophisticated, wealthy, and compassionate—doesn’t pick up its lost humanity on the streets and connect them with housing and with the community of humanity.
“Anyone can be homeless. Homelessness is like a prison without the keys. Society needs to care enough to come up with those keys.”
What if each of these super-rich families tithe 10% of their wealth for one year to build homes for people who are homeless? That amount would be $900 billion, far more than what the federal government invests. If one affordable housing unit costs $300,000, this dollar amount would be able to build 3 million homes.
In America, our homeless population is found on the dirty streets of our city. In Asia, homelessness is perched near the sky.
The issues that today’s mayors face do not reflect fictional television. Poverty and homelessness are real situations, which families and adults in every U.S. city experience on a daily basis.
Over a million homeless children in the U.S. (and countless who have not been included in homeless counts) continue to experience “hard-knock” lives. They don’t need a billionaire, like Oliver Warbucks to save them. They need us to collectively unmask hidden issues and create tangible solutions that prevent and end their homelessness. It is not “their” problem to fix. It is all of ours.
Despite unprecedented national efforts, homelessness still feels like a turf battle. You could call it a war.
A third of our nation’s children reside in homes defined as poor, where the household income is below 60% of the national median income for 2008, or $31,000. In other countries, this annual income is a fortune, but in this country, a family that survives on $31,000 per year places their children on a pathway to adult poverty, if not homelessness.