Today I wasn't thinking about homelessness and how in my city it has always existed but its just now become a topic and a noticeable "problem" to our city government. Ever since they closed the shelter the homeless have been more in the public eye. So I hear a lot of "Solutions to the Problem" but no one is facing the 2 most important elements in this whole situation. In the words of Dr. Horrible; "your treating a symptom", and really the cause is what we should be addressing. So as I see it: City planners have changed this town so much in the last five years to focus on tourism and wine. In order to attract tourism- fine dining restaurants and expensive boutiques have moved in. Which has drawn in more business but for whom? The business owners who only employ themselves and their families. A lot of which are families who moved up here from a more wealthy city south of us. (I spoke to a several business owners for a paper and most told me they were from San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Napa or a city from South California). Its gotten so bad that an average person like me, who makes a decent living wage, (I am not wealthy, but I don't hurt either). cant go down town and have a meal unless I plan ahead and reserve the money for it. So what I am trying to say is that the only economy that is increasing in wealth is only benefiting people who already have wealth. (Go figure). So what about Wal-Mart an other corporations in the area? They are corporations.... so... minimum wage. (Which is a whole other issue- better to have more people employed than a few making $10+) Not to mention no body wants to hire full time workers (another issue- insurance). Okay- to get to my second element: If more of us spoke up or tried to make things more accommodating for people who don't want to be homeless any more then things would be better off. But we can't get past our own metal security to face the issue. A moral issue. A health issue. A city issue. A HUMAN ISSUE. What else can I say? I think I just randomly wrote and essay.
EmilyAlter EmilyAlter
26-30, F
3 Responses Aug 21, 2014

Daaaaammmmmnnnnnnnnn!!!!! You're good!!

Lol, thank you. I am currently doing some research to back up my opinion and re-write this into an actual since its half done any way.

I live in a small community with two food banks. Other than that, we have no services for the disadvantaged. No shelters, no public transit. Yet, when the highway was widened and a sidewalk installed from the city out here, homeless guys started to trickle out. These aren't panhandlers, or dangerous psychotics. They live on disability that doesn't pay enough for regular housing. They drink a bit, so they aren't comfortable with the rules shelters impose. They would rather sleep in the woods. Rain or shine. Unfortunately, this eccentric, harmless behavior isn't accepted here. So they are driven from place to place. Never allowed to settle anywhere too long. They don't keep a tidy camp, so they're not endearing themselves to anyone. It's got to be a hard life, but it's the life they choose.

We have a food bank and a place were people get lunch and dinner Mon-Fri but its a double edge sword. On one hand, kids get to eat and families can get some essential hygiene supplies but on the other people are ungrateful and waste food. I stopped volunteering because I couldn't believe the volume of food being wasted. Many of the homeless men here are also disabled. Some of them vets. None of them bring in enough disability money to afford the rent out here. Many young adults live with two or three other roommates just to get by. I know there are many different things that come into play here but I just can't understand telling people who born and raised here to "move along" because they became homeless and cant get back up on their feet.

As a student who is currently studying urban planning, your "essay" carries a lot of weight, and I agree with a lot of it!

Thank you, I appreciate your comment. Its an issue that is really bugging me. My city is constantly saying "no" to companies who want to be here who would employ people and create a better living space.