What You Can Do
“Five people working together can accomplish more than
a hundred people working alone.”
Download our Blueprint for Solving Homelessness and pass it on.
1. Support programs in your community that provide permanent housing. While emergency housing is needed, it does little to give long term stability which actually would allow people to get back on their feet. Support programs that allow parents to work while having their children in safe day care programs.
2. Support community efforts to build affordable housing units in areas that are close to good schools, job opportunities and public transportation. Additionally, know what laws govern affordable housing. Giving endless tax credits in order to have housing that the average person can afford is a misuse of our tax dollars. It just enriches the developers.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of homeless, 38.1 million Americans live at or below the poverty level, most of whom are using at least 50% of their income to pay rent. 1.7 million Americans are living without running water.
#3 We must address the voucher system…
Only 1 in 4 who need housing assistance get it. The voucher system is done by lottery and it can take years to get a voucher. There are two and a half million evictions in America every year. Secondly, we cannot tolerate the discrimination that goes along with trying to actually use a voucher once it is obtained.
*Dozens of our homeless die from living on the streets each year. Some have literally frozen to death. One man in Albany, New York was turned away from the shelter because he had a bottle of alcohol. He was found dead the next morning without a coat, against the building. The Code Blue Law was ignored by the worker at the shelter.(Times Union Newspaper)
*In Illinois, a man was told to stop giving freezing homeless people a place to stay or his home would be condemned. (New York Post)
*In Las Vegas, four homeless men were shot in the head while sleeping on the streets.
#4 Stay Vigilant
Perhaps we can learn something from Jacob Marley in Dickens, Scrooge
By Ingid Van Mater
One of the most moving statements in this Christmas tale is by Marley's Ghost when despairing over "life's opportunities misused." Scrooge, trembling with fear and beginning to share in Marley's guilt, says: "But you were always a good man of business, Jacob." Upon which the Ghost cried out in anguish:
“Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”