Former Homeless Man…Making a Difference for Jesus!
By Lenette Evans
Luther King, Jr., the civil rights leader, once said, “I have a dream.”
By Sandy Perry
All of us who labor in homeless ministries know first-hand the individual stories of those who battle homelessness. What we frequently do not see, because the corporate media deliberately hides it, are the systemic causes and the economic and political decisions that create homelessness in the first place.
Since 1978, the Federal HUD housing budget has been cut by 65% -- a total of 54 billion in constant dollars. America as a result has a shortage of five million extremely low-income housing units today.
Mass homelessness as we know it did not even exist in America from the end of the Great Depression through the late 1970s. It is not an act of God, not an eternal condition, and not a mystery. It is a calculated, evil, bipartisan government policy based on the fact that the capitalist system, with its labor replacing technology, no longer needs workers and therefore will not provide for their welfare. It is time for people to rise up.
The individual suffering of the homeless is cruel and unnecessary, but it need not be in vain. The homeless, formerly homeless, unemployed, and all their supporters can pool together our individual moral struggles and strengths. We can inspire and help build a social and political movement to create a system that abolishes homelessness, poverty, and unemployment forever.
The Bible says there should be no poor among us, because God has blessed us with such a rich land and resources. The only question is whether we the people will obey his commands and fight for a system that distributes our wealth equitably.
Public Housing to be Demolished — Homeless Subject to Arrest
Sharon Jasper speaking at the rally in front of
the St. Bernand housing development
By Ted Quant
Former residents and activists rallied in front of the St. Bernard Public Housing development in New Orleans on February 16 to continue the fight to stop Columbia Residential's demolition and redevelopment plans. Sharon Jasper, a former resident, condemned the corruption and political games being played with people's lives. Residents have a proposal that offers more housing, more jobs and savings than the Columbia proposal The Columbia proposal is a sweetheart deal because Columbia owes HUD Secretary Alfonse Jackson $250,000 to $500,000. Carlton, a homeless worker who lives under the Interstate 10 overpass, said, "Give us one of these buildings and the materials and there are enough skilled homeless workers to renovate these ourselves. There is plenty work to be done and we can do it." Speakers also condemned the mayor for declaring he would begin enforcing the city's "public habitation" ordinance — a law where homeless people will face arrest simply because they are living in the only affordable place: the city’s public rights of way. Given the dire shortage of New Orleans low-income housing, this law all but guarantees that thousands of people will be jailed for the "crime" of not having enough money for housing. Justice demands that people join together to stop the City's plan to criminalize New Orleans’ homeless and to fight for more public and affordable housing now.
This article originated in the People's Tribune
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