The homeless of America are rarely the topic of political conversations. While much of the media is concentrating on the latest outrageous commentary from Fox News pundits or Donald Trump, homeless people are often overlooked in favor of stories that will draw the biggest ratings. This is a failure that many of us on the left are guilty of, but fortunately, there are individuals working on this issue.
America didn’t always have as many homeless people as we do today, but in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan began defunding mental hospitals, including the one my father worked at in Virginia. Couple that with rising income inequality and booming housing costs, and there are many more people out on the streets than there were just a couple of decades ago.
Instead of trying to address this issue, many conservatives have tried to blame the plight of the homeless on a lack of motivation or work ethic, despite the fact that many working class people can’t get by on the tiny paychecks they earn.
Chronic homelessness is a problem across the United States, and not just in places like Seattle.
“My current structure over at Dearborn doesn’t have an insulation. When it’s 30 degrees outside, it’s 30 degrees inside,” said Selene McCann. “It’s very cold. We have to sleep with six blankets and it’s still freezing.”
McCann will soon be one of the residents of the tiny home village going up here at 22nd and East Union, property that The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd owns and has used to host the Nickelsville homeless encampment before. (Source)
In cities like Seattle or Washington, D.C. even homeless veterans with a government voucher are having a hard time finding a place to live – thanks to a very tight and expensive housing market.
Real Christians follow the teaching of Jesus Christ, and not the “screw you, I got mine” mantra of today’s GOP. Organizations like Catholic Charities have embraced immigrants to the United States, the opposite of what the Republican Party has done in recent years.
The homeless have been assisted by charitable organizations and individuals like Father Nathan Monk. Now it is time for the rest of us to step up. We need to take care of our veterans with PTSD, and we need to take care of the people with mental illness.
If we can’t do that, then we have no moral ground to stand upon when dictating policy to the numerous nations we give billions of dollars of foreign aid to. This is America, it’s time we start acting like the land of the free. and the home of the brave.
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