A big issue that has been popping up since Syrian refugees became headline news (sadly that is what it takes) is how the United States can not afford, or should not try, to take in refugees because we already have too many homeless and unemployed.
Of course we do! We have for decades! Why is this news to people? What is being done about it?
There are so many organizations that could help with this. I have seen a ridiculous amount of foreclosed buildings and government owned buildings that have no use and are just standing empty. Why? What would happened if we turned those abandoned shops and warehouses into homes and small businesses? Growth, security, shelter for those deserving of it. Including refugees.
Do people think we would just be providing free things for slackers and those refusing to work? If so, may I please refer all of you to someone who can discuss a different point of view.
Some people need help getting on their feet. Which is completely different than being using welfare as an excuse to not get a job and contribute to society. I believe that, given the chance, the homeless in America (including our homeless Veterans) would accept a steady job no matter the field. They would have no problem helping to renovate these old buildings so they, and others, have a place to live. I doubt they would want to stay there forever either! Once they had a job, created some savings, improved their quality of life, they would be financially able to move to standard house (not substandard, which is a completely different post for me). Which would free up space for another person in need.
So here I am on my soap box and I am sure the first question you have is “Well what are you doing about it?”. Fair question! To be honest, I didn’t think there was anything I could do. I really don’t have the funds to donate and my work schedule is a bit wonky, so I didn’t think I would be able to commit to a volunteer program. Something kept nagging at me though. I am not the only person with a hectic schedule and who is struggling to get by. How do other people do it?
They research and reach out.
Which is what I have done. I recently got in contact with a local volunteer group who builds houses for those who qualify and those in need and asked if they had a program like this. I am also finding out how to reach out to people who have created programs like these all across the USA. True, I am not doing anything with direct results right now. I am making a start though.
There is absolutely no reason why we should have homeless Veterans. They have given too much to be deprived of necessities. There is no reason why we should have homeless orphan children roaming the streets (no, it is not just a third world issue). Or people who just caught a bad break. I am tired of it and now that I am grown I am going to do something about it.
Here are some local and national stories that are giving me hope that we can end homelessness and make unemployment a temporary situation, not one that lasts for months or years.