but i'll tell you what i do know. our advocacy system has been hijacked. our system of advocating for the poor and the homeless has given in to the whims of political bickering and party platforms of a very dysfunctional congress and senate. the result is a malfunctioning advocacy system that is complacent enough to go along with programs set down from washington, whether or not they're in the best interest of those that they advocate for. they are so eager and desperate for funding that they will accept and implement programs that are destined to fail, targeted at the wrong individuals or are just not feasible to implement over a protracted period of time.
this year could have been different. it is election year and it's budget time. but once again, advocacy groups and agencies sit idly by while washington sets programs for housing the homeless that will undoubtedly make headlines, but undoubtedly be ineffective over a period of time. there will be some small, short term successes and washington will definetly trumpet those successes in november. after the elections the reality of the winds of change will begin to blow and those programs will lose momentum, support and be subject to the next round of budget cuts and austerity programs. or maybe our advocates haven't been paying attention to the trend of cutting social programs, those aiding the homeless and feeding the hungry. maybe they are too busy housing the 1%. or maybe they are so concerned about being able to function as an entity and growing their payroll next year they've lost site of their original purpose. instead of taking a responsible approach they applied another band aid to a an already bleeding system. what should have been a year of change and new beginnings is turning into a year of recycling failed programs and spending more money on failed efforts. they are using faulty economics to justify a non sustainable program called housing first or free housing and doubling down on that by saying it's actually cheaper than letting a homeless person stay on the street.
washington dc, phoenix, salt lake city, nashville....how many examples do you need to see in order to realize that free housing will work....for a very, very small per cent of the homeless. but it absolutely cannot be sustained over a long period of time and it's absolutely not cheaper. it's a noble idea, but it's not the answer. and now charlotte has fallen victim to the same propaganda. apparently it costs over 20k a month in charlotte for a homeless person to be on the street. i'm moving to charlotte because that must be some homeless community they have there.
we can't end homelessness not because we don't know how. any misson ceo or employee or any grassroots organization can tell you how. we can't end homelessness because because our homeless advocacies and housing agencies refuse to accept the fact that after decades of trying in one form or another....free housing does not and cannot work for the homeless population over a protracted period of time.
i'm just a homeless person...what do i know. i'm just a college graduate and have worked in the homeless field in the past...what do i know. i have seen housing first and free housing fail...in more than one state....more than once....what do i know. i can add one plus one and know it's not three. but then again...what do i know.
see you around town