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How Can I Help to put Houses that Homeless people can Live in my Community?

Updated on September 10, 2012

The state of homelessness in our communities

Everywhere I look, especially in my neighborhood, I see people without a place to live. Within a two block radius of my home, there are so many houses that have been boarded up. The downturn of the economy has left many people without jobs. Many companies have closed their doors and moved outside our United States for cheap labor in other foreign countries. Many people are just one paycheck away (myself included) from losing everything that they have worked so hard to obtain. On any given day, I see both men and women gathering up whatever they can to take to the recycling plant just to get money for whatever they need to survive. The shelters in our city are filled to capacity because of the lack of affordable housing in our communities. The public housing that once was is no more. The families that once lived in these apartments are now living in what is now called scattered site housing communities. These types of communities include bothas well as private sector housing. The rentals for these private sector housing far exceed what it would cost to stay in a public housing unit. That's why The CHA gives low income persons or what is commonly known as section 8 vouchers. For individuals renting an apartment or house would sometimes have to work two and three jobs just to pay one month's rent. I often ask myself what could be done to put the homeless into affordable rental units.

As I sometimes drive around in my neighborhood, I see foreclosed homes, vacant lots, and multiple unit buildings that could be remodeled and used as low income rentals for the homeless people in my area. This could be done in many other communities as well. But who would be willing to put up the necessary funds for such a task. Many of our elected officials have the power to advocate and direct these monies to the social service agencies so that these units can be constructed for people without adequate housing. It's funny how we can spend money to help others in third world countries and shell out big dollars for wars, but we can't take care of our own people within our United States. It seems as if we have our priorities mixed up. I believe that it is the duty of our elected officials to step up to the plate to make sure that the people that are homeless have somewhere to safely lay their heads at night.

The housing crisis is responsible for the mess that we are in as well. The policies of these mortgage companies and real estate corporations are all messed up to say the least. The banking industry is heavily responsible for the housing bubble that was created some years ago as well. All these different mortgage companies sometimes engage in illegal practices just so that they can boost their profits at the expense of the unsuspecting home buyers. These companies need to be put out of business for good!!

While our economy is struggling to come back to life, the fate of our homeless is somewhat cloudy. The job market is like a see saw; one week the numbers improve, the next week the numbers are in a downward spiral. Is there any way that our elected officials can advocate on behalf of our homeless to help alleviate some of the issues that they face? What about the big mortgage companies like Fannie Mae? Can they relax some of the policies to make it easier for the homeowner to stay in their homes. Can some of these major corporations and social services agencies lend a helping hand to some of the less fortunate by giving them employment? A lot of these foreclosed and abandoned buildings can be remodeled to provide safe and secure housing for the homeless. These vacant lots can be used to build low income housing as well. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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    • John Holden profile image

      John Holden 5 years ago

      Sad to say we've reached the time when property is worth more than people.

      We have pretty much the same situation here in the UK with plenty of empty property and plenty of homeless.

      We need a radical change and that change is not going to come from our corporation run governments.

    • nina64 profile image
      Author

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Hello John Holden, I agree with you wholeheartedly. A major change needs to take place here in the states as well. We spend more money taking of other countries than we do in own back yard. We need all the help we can get in taking care of our homeless. Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 5 years ago from America

      When those of you living in those condition want your life to improve then learn who to vote for! Democrats are responsible for this housing crisis that destroyed our economy! Democrats are the reason black communities are worse off now than 40 years ago! Democrats are always saying how they will take care of the poor! They never come up with ideas how to get the poor educated and off the govt tit! They have destroyed families, ruined the economy and now they want your votes again!...........what will you do? same or real change this time?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nina, I'll just respond to your writing instead of some people who feel this is a soap box for political rants.

      Nice job of writing and it's an important message. A huge percentage of Americans are one paycheck away from serious trouble and it would be lovely if some people would shelve their smug attitudes and show some compassion for others.

    • nina64 profile image
      Author

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      @American Romance, I did not intend for this hub to be a political discussion in regards to whom is at fault for the state of the housing crisis in our country. However, I do not agree with you in saying that blacks are responsible for this crisis. If anything, we always get the short end of the stick because the republicans do not want to see us get ahead. You have a right to your opinion, but please do not place the blame on us. The banking and the mortgage industries as well as some of our crooked elected officials who are making closed door deals are clearly to blame.

      @Billybuc, Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. It is my intent to raise awareness of the homeless situation in our communities. I've seen several hubs in regards to this issue and they are quite interesting to read. I was only stating my opinion and trying to give some possible solutions to a problem that not only affects our communities but our country as well. Again, I appreciate your thoughts. Be blessed.

    • PJ Jones profile image

      PJ Jones 5 years ago

      I don't know if this will help, but Obama has said everyone who was forclosed on could immediately get $2,000.00..this was in January 2012. Hey Nina, American didn't blame blacks, I thought he blamed Democrats. Either way, he's wrong. Dems did not cause the housing problem..conservatives did. I don't see how he blames Dems. POTUS has been trying to get jobs, education and medical for the poor, but he is stoped by House Repubs. The Repubs. have taken away our political voice, women's health rights and voting. Obama is weak and does not know how to fight back. Mitt wanrs immigrants to "self deport". Anyone who votes for a Repub. should be taken out and shot!

    • nina64 profile image
      Author

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Hello PJ Jones, I stand corrected. I thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. It's a shame that our POTUS can't get the support he needs for trying to tackle various issues. I'm starting to believe that some people don't know how to stand up and fight for their own people. I know I did vote for change!! Again thanks for your comments.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Nina64, I can tell from your writing that this issue is close to your heart. It should be close to the heart of all of us. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement, "how we can spend money to help others in third world countries and shell out big dollars for wars, but we can't take care of our own people within our United States". This question is forefront in my mind as I strive to understand this philosophy. It seems backwards to me.

      I hope that the housing situation in your neighborhood improves and that you continue to keep your house. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • nina64 profile image
      Author

      nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Hello PegCole17, the issue of homelessness in my neighborhood is somewhat of a local crisis. In my block alone, there are over 4 homes that are boarded up. What's even sadder is that the dollars in our communities are being spent on non essential things. Our local elected officials and other corporate ceo's pockets are being inflated with our tax dollars. There are so many vacant lots and abandoned buildings that could be used to create affordable housing in our communities. Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my hub.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Nina, That sounds like a situation that could use some immediate attention by the city. Here in Dallas there is a guy on the City Council who is taking action on houses that have been burned out or boarded up and being used as drug houses etc.. It warmed my heart to see he is pushing past the red tape to get 250 of these type of houses torn down, contacting the property owners and advising them to fix and repair or have the buildings demolished. The neighbors who were interviewed on TV are delighted.

      To me, this is an ideal way to create work for those who are looking as new housing comes to the area, more jobs are available from construction workers, to engineers, to project managers; more patronage of local restaurants by workers and delivery people and bankers. It starts the ball rolling with forward motion in our economic recovery.

    • nina64 profile image
      Author

      nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Hello PegCole17, your suggestions creates a domino effect in getting solutions to our housing crisis in major cities across the country. If only some of our elected officials, realtors, and other corporate sponsors could put their heads together and combine their efforts so that everyone can benefit. I appreciate your comments. Be blessed.

    • cjlesesne profile image

      cjlesesne 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      This is definitely a problem in DC as well where mainly gentrification is getting the better of the city. The DC housing crisis differs a bit from Chicago, but in the governments effort to transition DC into the new "Manhattan," innocent low class families are being forced out of their houses. By default, these same families are ending up in homeless situations. I definitely feel your compassion on this issue!

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