Saturday, June 16, 2007
What do you do when you're homeless?
As more and more folks fall through the cracks we see the amount of homeless people on the increase. Everybody feels the crunch as we have family and friends who are not able to pay their bills, or have allready lost their home and need help. Seems like we're all working to help out, but our resources are being drained too. There are people living in tent cities throughout the country, but in more and more places they are being driven out.
On top of the 3 million who were homeless or marginally homeless there are an additional 5 million poor people that spend over half of their incomes on housing, leaving them on the verge of homelessness. A missed paycheck, a health crisis, or an unpaid bill can easily push poor families over the edge into homelessness, and once that happens it's all about survival. There are not enough shelters and not many places that you can even pitch a tent or build a wikiup.
The Portland Oregon Solution
Dignity Village International Tent City Celebration
Dear Fellow Portland Housing/Homeless Activists:
Homelessness is increasing worldwide. Housing costs are skyrocketing. Governments are more inclined to support tax cuts for the wealthy than help for low income people. Drastic cuts of essential entitlement or safety net programs are looming on the horizon--courtesy of the Bush Administration and U.S. Congress.
To truly end homelessness and poverty worldwide, we need to do more than just develop 10 year plans to end homelessness or bureaucracies to study the problem.
This is why the National Coalition for the Homeless, the nation's oldest and largest national homelessness advocacy organization, supports such proactive legislative initiatives as the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Bringing America Home Act. If enacted by Congress, both pieces of legislation would end homelessness in this country.
In addition to tackling the roots causes of poverty (lack of affordable housing, no universal health insurance, and poor-paying jobs) in this country and elsewehere, we support the development/operation of tent cities and other alternative housing models.
We join you in this international day of solidarity pushing for an end to homelessness and poverty today, not ten years from now.