despite repeated efforts by congress, several presidents, social organizations, philanthropists, churches and the american people, no concrete strategy or plan has been found. some people talk about shining and powerful, moving and compassionate programs and how it will put us on track to end homelessness. finally it's the answer we've all been looking for. some of the programs would indeed end homelessness. some of the plans are very viable, common sense plans that could work. so they plan and talk and write and tout the fact that an end is near. but what they don't talk about or plan is how the country would pay for it. that's left out of all the warm and fuzzy articles and the political banter about how a certain location is on track to end homelessness. that's what's left out of the blogs and the tweets and the facebook entries and the talk shows. they've been strong on vision and short on reality. that's no surprise since that's how politics and feel-good advocacy seems to work these days.
advocacy, some legislators and the public seem to believe that programs come with no cost. it is right now that honest talk and debate and realistic planning should begin. do we really need to end homelessness? absolutely! can we really end homelessness? no...not totally. but you can bring it to a near zero level and manage it where the damage is not significant to those who are experiencing it.
but here's a very important question that needs to be in every single debate, in every single program discussion, in every single declaration that someone is on track to end homelessness....can you afford the program over a long period of time or is it just another answer that will lose funding, lose the publics support, thereby losing political support and then fall by the wayside only to rise up again with another name at another time? that is the single most important question you should ask. you have to figure out how to pay for a program over a sustained period of time....period. if not, then you are putting makeup on a pig and expecting it to attract a suitor.
many people have answers with no real substance. dismiss them as talkers. the fight against homelessness has enough talkers and plannner. it has enough feel-good blogs and story tellers. it has enough empty worded politicians who will change with the winds of fortune. you need an affordable, viable program with substantial funding. and you absolutely have to stop skewing the numbers to make it seem like it's going to be inexpensive or cheaper to house the homeless. that is a totally ridiculous concept and it's totally untrue. it's not cheap. it's not inexpensive. and the homeless don't cost you much money on the street. sure...there are exceptions. but those exceptions are a very, very small percentage of the total homeless population.
it doesn't matter who agrees or disagrees with what program or what i've written. what does matter is a serious solution that we can pay for. a solution for all homeless people, not a very small portion or category. don't use magic words and numbers....use the magic of truth and reality. it works every time
see you around town