How do you fix the Homeless problem? Maybe Try This?

The issue of homeless is one that many people don’t really consider until they are the ones near that position in life. Many people might find it hard to believe that they could ever become homeless because they have a steady job and able to pay their bills on time. But as the movie Sicko by Michael Moore showed, you can spend your whole life doing what you are supposed to be doing and when hard times strike, like getting cancer, and your insurance won’t cover all the surgeries and medication then you start to see how easy one can become homeless without the aid of their family members to support them.

Many states around the country are passing laws that don’t help the homeless. It is like trying to pass a law that say, “Rats are not allowed to live in this area,” only to learn that the rats didn’t listen to your law because, well, they can’t read. Homeless don’t care what the law says about what they can and cannot do because they do not have a home, they don’t pay taxes, and many of them don’t even have ID cards on them anymore, so why should they care? You can cite them and lock up as many times as you want and what is that going to fix? Many homeless people want to be taken to jail because it will mean a meal, a bed to sleep on and off the streets for another night.

It will surprise a lot of people to learn how many people who are homeless want to work but because they do not have a physical address to receive mail, they do not have any new clothes to wear, and they smell it makes a very difficult time for them to make any progress in their life. So the state of Utah has decided to change all that by offering homeless people free housing. The reason behind that is it will impact the city less financially if more homeless people are off the streets than if they were on the streets getting arrested or loitering in areas where they shouldn’t be. The daily show did a great report on this whole new trend happening to find out if it actually works. The other side to this says that allowing them to have free housing when others are struggling to pay their bills is not fair. Well newsflash, life is not fair and it never has been so that whole reason, or excuse, doesn’t work.

It is interesting to find out just how successful this program is because when you think about it, everyday thousands of people are released from prison and jail, many of them served years behind bars now back into the world. The hard thing for them is to learn how to take care of themselves again. Their biggest problems now are finding housing, getting a job, and managing their life. The problem with this is that because the prison system has taught them to be do dependent on them for everything they don’t know how to earn a living so many of them commit a crime just to be thrown back in. There are many successful programs out there that try to help former inmates transition back into society but it is hard to keep them in those programs because the struggles are too much for them to handle. This housing program also keeps track of each person’s progress to make sure they are doing everything they can to get their own apartment to live in so another person can use the free housing.

In any case, click the link below to watch this interesting piece on solving the homeless problem.

Hasan Minhaj talks with Lloyd Pendleton, director of homeless task force in Salt Lake City

To learn more about this you can read some of the articles below.

News Articles

Housing First

100,000 Homes Campaign

Home Free?

Utah’s Housing First Program Successful

Tiny Houses: A big idea to end homelessness

Tiny Houses aim to help homeless

Small House Movement

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