invisible homeless kids

Hard to imagine that in this country way over 3 MILLION kids are without homes. H-O-M-E-L-E-S-S Kids. I don't get it. Are we willing to discard these kids? Not me. So this blog will relentlessly focus on this issue, hoping to light a spark to fuel a compassion epidemic. Chime in, argue, but do something....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Slow On the Uptake

I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but 4 years ago when I encountered a teacher, her husband, and their 2 kids (a high school senior and a 25-year old who had been brain damaged in an accident), and heard how they were illegally evicted by a sleazy predatory lenders, and heard how they tried to get help but no one seemed to care, and heard how this was getting to be a huge problem in certain (read minority and low income) neighborhoods, well, I figured something was wrong.

It was a textbook preview to today's subprime mess. Except today it's not just poor neighborhoods, it's all income levels.

Now I don't want to alarm any of the rocket scientists, er, economists who are looking at this bucket of greedy sleaze, but perhaps they better tip off someone in Washington that homelessness is going to be on the rise, much like, say, a tsunami that builds way out to sea, unbeknownst to most people, and slams the coast hard, doing tremendous damage.

The formula for homelessness is simple, despite what HUD thinks.
Lose home + no home to live in = homeless

HUD, the U.S. Department of HOUSING and Urban Development, prides itself on addressing homelessness. But it doesn't consider families described above as homeless because they were living in a motel room. I can assure you, as one who has been in countless motel rooms of homeless families, they weren't on vacation.

Seems to me that Phil Mangano, the President's point person on homelessness, HUD officials, and members of Congress balking about changing HUD's definition of homelessness should spend some quality time in a cheap motel worrying about how to get a real place to live, how to not lose this place, how to feed your family using a microwave and a box of non-microwave friendly food from a food pantry, how to go to work when you have no money... Never's too depressing to wish on anyone.

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