Have we all fallen asleep?? Have we become a society of zombies?? Because the current state of Homelessness In America Today, doesn’t seem to be the topic of discussion on our lips anymore and I’m concerned as to why!!?? Well, pull your heads out of the sand, take off your rose colored glasses and splash some water on your face, because unfortunately, #homelessness is still alive and well in America in 2014:DISASTER!!
Data shows that as of January 2013, there are approximately 610,042 people experiencing homelessness in America, which translates to 19 homeless persons out of every 10,000 persons in the general public. WHAT THE “CLUCK!!??” Writing that sentence made me sick to my stomach!!! Aren’t we one of the richest countries in the world?? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. If that’s true, how does this happen?? How in the United States of America, do we have such a wide gap between the haves and the have absolutely nothings at all!!?? I don’t even know if that sentence is proper English, but I don’t care!! I needed to say it how I felt it; with passion and impact!! So let a sista live!!
Some of the factors that can, and does cause homelessness is of course, poverty, unemployment, underemployment and the lack of affordable housing. Poverty is a crime!!! If a person is born poor it’s highly likely they will die poor. That’s sad enough, but should they die HOMELESS?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! That’s an insult!! It’s painfully clear that with a national unemployment rate of 5.9%, it’s so wonder that homelessness is on the rise!! But what also makes my brain bleed is the state of the underemployed and it’s impact on the growth of homelessness in this country as well. As I grew up, my parent’s ongoing mantra over and over and over and over again, year after year after year was, “get a job!! Get a job!! Get a job! Get a job!!” But when you do, you don’t make enough money to buy a candy bar out of the vending machine. Something’s wrong with that picture!! And politicians have the NERVE, to battle #BarakObama over increasing the minimum wage?? Really?? What the hell is that about?? Because even IF, it goes from $7.25 an hour to $10.10, what is that stinking little $2.85 increase gonna do to change a person’s financial plight in life. Oh, I know, they can use the extra 2 bucks to buy….to buy….to buy…NOT A D_MN!! NADA!! ZILCH!! How in the Ba-Jesus can a person who makes $10.10 an hour, afford decent house?? THEY CAN’T!! So you know “motherclucking” well, at the current $7.25 an hour, they can’t afford proper food, shelter and clothing.
Yes, I am aware that substance abuse and mental illness plays a role in homelessness as well. But let’s not live in denial. Let’s keep it real real shall we!!?? GREED and wealth inequality in the United States is one of the dirty little secrets that no one is admitting, contributes to homelessness in America. NOBODY is putting that on blast!! WELL I AM!! In #InequalityForAll-a 2013 documentary with Robert Reich, he states that 95% of economic gains went to the top 1%. DISASTER!! Oh but it get’s better. The causes of wealth inequality is more cloistered than anybody could imagine. Well, not the wealthy. They already know what it is!! So when I hear someone like #ToriSpelling blubber on and on and on till the break of dawn, about not knowing how she’s gonna pay her bills and support her family, excuse me if I stuff plugs in my ears as she throws her rich little bratty tantrums on her stupid reality show!! #SMH!!! She needs to take several seats!!
The below is a list of the causes contributing to the creation and persistence of wealth inequality. I hope as you read it you’re sitting down because it’s eye opening:
- Money Policy
- Financial Resources
- Money Allocation
- Higher rate of saving and hence asset accumulation by the wealthy.
- Higher net rate of return to assets owned by the rich.
- Lower credit costs and credit constraints for the wealthy. Access to credit and lower rates enhances the level of profits and scope of investment opportunities.
- Tax Policy.
- Decline in Unionization.
In short, the accumulation of wealth creates more options and eliminates financial restrictions about how one can live life. Yah think?? Dah?? That’s simple arithmetic!! So the next time you walk pass a homeless person on the street, in a car, or in a train station, think twice before judging them! Think twice before you YELL, get a job!! Because one day, it could be YOU!! Bottom line, homelessness DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE!! So that begs the question, what does homelessness look like?? It looks like your co-worker. It looks like your friend. It looks like your teacher. It looks like your preacher. It looks like your baker or your candlestick maker. You’d be very surprised to know how many people you come in contact with on a daily bases, personally or professionally, who are homeless.
The struggle of homelessness is real!! It’s severe!! And it affects the quality of life of the individuals who are victims of it. Put yourself in the shoes of a homeless person. Where would you sleep?? Where would you store your personal belongings?? Where would you shower?? How would you guarantee your own safety?? Most of us don’t grapple with these questions because we take our “homefulness” for granted.
NO, homelessness can’t be solved. NO homelessness can’t be prevented. That horse has already left the barn. But, I do believe we can take a large bite out of homelessness if we do one thing, GET RID OF POVERTY!! But to get rid of poverty, the greedy, stingy, powers that be, “you know who day is,” HAVE TO get up off of some of that ‘moola’ and systematic power, that continues to be one the culprits. It might sound overly simplistic, but it’s not!!
To drive the point home, I had the pleasure of recording an episode about #HomelessnessInAmerica, for this month’s #LisaDurdenShow. Richard Cammarieri, Director of Special Projects from New Community Corporation of Newark NJ and the wonderful Phillips family, who were kind enough to join us to share their homeless experience. If you’re interested in watching the show, it airs on Newark Cablevision, Channel 19, ,. No worries, it’s cable, so if you miss it, it will rerun to death for the next three Tuesdays.