Down, But Not Out

An introspective examination of the tragedy of homelessness in the richest society ever to exist on Earth

Homelessness is not an accident. Homelessness is not a problem. Homelessness is a political agenda. Why else would there be so many homeless people in the richest country that ever existed on the face of this planet.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This Saturday I am meeting with the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing

Topics For Discussion

1) Homelessness is NOT a problem, it’s a political agenda.

2) Economic slavery is the primary cause of homelessness. We are governed by people who owe their jobs to campaign funding from the upper classes. No wonder they refuse to protect poor people who are FORCED to work long hours for wages that are not sufficient to provide food and shelter for their families.

3) Subsidized housing & rent geared to income has created two classes of poverty. Those with government funded housing can live reasonably well and are the fortunate ones. Those without, live a daily existence on the edge of homelessness and have to spend money which should go to food on rent. They can not afford both. It’s either inadequate nourishment or homelessness. It is naïve to think that the failed policy of building so called affordable housing will ever come close to solving the homelessness issue. No government can afford to build enough housing units to ever make a difference.

4) We don’t need to build affordable housing; we need to afford the existing housing. There presently exists more than enough vacant housing to accommodate all of the homeless people. The problem is that people on social assistance or working at minimum wage do not have enough income to pay reasonable market rents. Our government has made war on the poor by failing to ensure a reasonable income for either of these groups. A livable minimum wage and reasonable social assistance rates would eliminate most homelessness. If government would give landlords a tax break for setting aside a portion of their housing units to rent at the rate provided for by ODSP or Ontario Works, we could eliminate most of the homelessness caused by affordability problems immediately.

5) Addictions along with physical and mental disabilities are major contributing factors in homelessness and next to economic slavery, are the most significant causes of homelessness. It is unconscionable that in the richest society that has ever existed on Earth, we still condemn sick people from these groups to homelessness and an early death. Any politician who says we can not afford to give these people proper care and a safe home is an outright liar.

6) There will always be a few people who choose to remain homeless, but if we give most homeless people a reasonable alternative, they will pounce on the opportunity and homelessness will be almost completely eradicated.

7) It is incredible that a multi billion dollar industry has been instituted to deal with homelessness when allowing people a livable income would eliminate its need at a fraction of the cost.

8) Police harassment, illegal tactics and brutality towards homeless people NEED TO CEASE IMMEDIATLEY. I could site several examples of police brutality, but the most outrageous is one where two police officers threw a friend of mine off a railway overpass in an attempt to kill him. He lived, but sustained multiple fractures to both of his legs. I watched as two police officers soused my squat and ALL MY WORLDLY POSSESSIONS in gasoline and set them on fire. We need a civilian watchdog to handle complaints about police. When I lodged a formal complaint, there was NO MEANINGFUL INVESTIGATION. Neither I nor a second eyewitness were ever interviewed. Every homeless person knows there is no sense in complaining about these events. Nothing is ever done except often there is severe police retaliation.

9) Homelessness in most underdeveloped countries is also a matter of economic slavery and political agenda. The difference is that there, a third element exacerbates the situation. Many of these countries rely on economic and material aid from the developed nations. Not nearly enough aid is forthcoming and corrupt political leaders and bureaucrats siphon off most of the cream so that little actually reaches the intended recipients. Add piracy to the mix and it’s easy to see why millions of people world wide continue to wander homeless and starving to death.

10) In spite of the lip service and band-aid solutions being offered up, homelessness and starvation continue to increase throughout the developed and undeveloped world at an alarming rate. Will it take violent worldwide uprisings by these desperate victims of social greed and avarice to facilitate meaningful action? If so, beware, for the time is rapidly approaching.

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