On a given night there are 500,000 homeless Americans sleeping on the streets–150,000 in California alone. Most of these Americans are homeless because of U.S. Government policies that encouraged Big Corporations to outsource their manufacturing jobs. Instead of providing re-training and placement in new technology jobs the government left them to live on the street. This is immoral and unethical and can be solved.
For 10 years the state of Utah’s Housing First program successfully tackled homelessness and won: with full government funding for the program, chronic homelessness was ended for 10 years. Through this Housing First program social workers reached out to chronically homeless people and let them know that permanent house was available for them immediately. The State Government paid the rent for permanent housing in vacant apartments. Then government provided social services for theses formerly homeless Americans. services such as counseling, job training and placement, full mental and medical health coverage. The government provided a “hand up”, not a “hand out”.
As a result formerly homeless people, most of whom used to work full time, could work once again and make a living. When the state funding was cut back, homelessness tragically returned to the lives of working Americans. Peter Mathews says the federal government needs to fully fund a nationwide housing first program by closing corporate tax loopholes, a wealth tax on billionaires, raising taxes on income brackets over 10 million dollars annually to 70%.