We do not have a housing crisis.
We have a homelessness, mental health, poverty crisis.
Building more houses that people cannot afford is not the solution. People are homeless because, DUH, they don’t have enough money. You can build as many houses as you like, but if a person doesn’t have money – well, shit, I shouldn’t even have to explain that!
Supplying tents makes me want to throw up. Seriously? Tents are for camping on vacations. Not for living in. You try living in a tent when there is weather – and there is always weather. Don’t tell me it is better than nothing. It is very well next to nothing, and definitely not a long term solution.
Creating laws to banish homeless people from public places is not the solution.
Arresting them, and to fine them (fine a person who is broke? Seriously, people, get real here) makes it now harder for a person to get a place to live and a job. Having a criminal record isolates a person further. It also encourages more criminal behaviour, because people are desperate and have nothing to lose if they already have a record.
If you’re already in debt what is one more fine? If you are in over your head, it doesn’t much matter how much deeper the pond is.
Every single animal on this planet needs a home of their own. We are no exception.
Having your own little cubby hole in the world is one of the most important things in ones life. Having your own sanctuary, where you can go, close the door and be safe is step one to improved mental health.
Step two, is having enough money to live on. Pay people living wages. Provide basic income for everyone.
Step three, is having compassionate professional aid to get you back on your feet again. This means gentle guidance to improving your lot in life. I know there are exceptions, but I think on the whole, most people want to live well and are not resistant to help. Most people don’t want free handouts. They want to be self sufficient and proud of what they do and who they are. Most people want to make a positive mark on the world. Sometimes they just need a little boost, a direction, HOPE.
The solution to homelessness, is free accommodation, money and help to get back on your feet and back into society, until you can make it on your own again.
Homelessness can happen to anybody, because life happens. Divorce. Bankruptcy. Illness. Jobs that pay shit. Losing your job. Being a senior. Being a woman. Being another nationality. Having a lot of mental and physical issues. And a host of other reasons all falling under the category of being alive and living.
Homeless people could be you someday.
It is time for us to be responsible citizens and do what is right for our fellow humans.
Provide housing to those in need.
Supply a basic income, to everyone. Because working people too are not making enough to survive.
Increase social programs that get people education, jobs, and all the help they need.
Do whatever it takes to HELP people. Not banish them. Not make their lives harder.
We could benefit by examining what other countries, who successfully have tackled these issues, have implemented to make life worth living.