12/16/2004: This is, simply, a shame and disgrace....
Bryan at Why Now?, on homelessness in his neck o'the woods:
What I can't do is fix the lack of shelter space for the homeless. We have fewer housing units than ever because of the hurricane, and shelters are already strained to capacity because some of the facilities were also damaged by the storm.Living where I do (midtown Memphis), I see a number of homeless persons every day (most have come to dread the daily confrontation with my dog, who is suspicious of most strangers). Looking at most of them, at least, it's clear that they don't have jobs and that they probably can't get them (they're physically disabled or they've got obvious mental problems). The concept of being gainfully employed and not being able to afford housing boggles my mind...
One shelter manager said that after all the pews in their chapel were filled all he could do was offer people a blanket and an MRE [Meal Ready to Eat, military rations].
Our homeless tend to have jobs, but they can't afford the local housing because all most no affordable housing has been built in years. If you are employed and don't have a drug dependency there is no assistance available.
Welcome to Red America. [emphasis added --LRC]
Len on 12.16.04 @ 08:19 AM CST