Here is the deal. I have been looking into some things concerning the homeless recently and I am finding the homeless problem is not an insurmountable problem. The problem has to be solved using common sense. As my grandfather would say common sense is not so common. First people must get the notion out of their head that all homeless people are bums, drug or alcohol abusers. They must begin to realize that “there but for the grace of God go I.” We are all one illness, one job loss, one industry collapse, or one foreclosure away from being on the street or in some form of non-traditional housing. Many of the people that are homeless are hard working, educated, and non-addicts who have just fallen victim to hard times or circumstances.
Next, we have tons of abandon homes in the United States that are a blight upon our cities and cause the other property values to decrease. It also lowers the tax base of the affected areas and business is decreased. Why don’t we come up with some type of homesteading program where these properties are given to homeless families and fixed up? We can establish a plan where they go through some training so if they are given the property they will not loose it and become homeless again. It costs cities billions of dollars each year to fight fires and vandalism associated with these properties. An empty house does nothing but cost the a city and or county money.
Thirdly, there needs to be more preventative programs put in place. I was surprised to find out that most grant money is for after the fact programs. A family has to be out on the street before they can actually qualify for help. By that time they may have lost everything. There are some programs for foreclosure out there but most of them are only for well qualified people. It is a lot easier to help a family keep a home than to try to get them a home after they have lost one.
Finally, stop giving huge amounts of money to banks that have shown that they mishandle the money. The banks have mishandled billions of dollars of tax payers money. Why not give that money directly to people who need help? Money never trickles down that is a fallacy. There needs to be less hoops to jump through especially for people that have been productive in the past and are now facing a crisis. They are so worried about people abusing the system that we fail to help people that need the system. Why isn’t there the same kind of oversights with the banks. They have proven that they abuse the system more than anyone. Why do we continue to dump money into their laps with no accountability?
Maybe some of that makes sense and maybe it doesn’t but something has to be done.