I am sick of reading news stories about cities cracking down on the homeless. The latest story is about Clearwater Florida welding shut public rest rooms to avoid allowing the homeless to use them? How much did that cost taxpayers, and oh yeah we;ding the doors shut also renders the “public” restrooms unusable to those same taxpayers. Clearwater has also taken the following steps to fight the evil homeless taken hoses and water spigots from public areas and they also shut off electricity to outlets the homeless used to charge cellphones further cutting them off from “normal society. (Read the article here.) I understand the majority of the non-homeless want nothing to do with these unfortunate souls, I also understand that the cost of the electricity and water being used. But cutting them off from basic needs is not the answer.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless a survey conducted by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year. (Read the report here.)
Now take this in according to the Census Bureau, depending on which article you read, there are between 18.6 and 130 million vacant houses in the US. (Read the article from a CA paper here, read the article from Trulia here.) So taking the lowest estimate of 18.6 houses that is almost 6 houses for every 1 homeless person.
I’m wondering how much cities like Clearwater FL, are spending to keep homeless people out of their city. Why don’t those cities with a high homeless rate get together with those cities with a high vacant home rate and work something out. I’m not saying give the houses free, maybe like the government is doing with historic properties, where they can stay as long as they fix the home up. I’m not talking about setting them up in multi-million dollar homes in Beverly Hills or on Long Island, but in neighborhoods where they would actually be able to maintain the home and find work. A lot of the homeless are willing to work but can not get interviews because they lack a permanent address. We have to problems running rampant in this country, 2 problems that can be combined to end both of them. I know I’m not a scholar, I never graduated college, but I do have some common sense. This just seems logical to me. This seems to be the right thing for the American people.