Living in or around major cities my entire life exposed me to various culture, social and economic statuses in what felt like the entire world within my community. It was very unnatural for me not to see homeless people on a normal basis, especially under highway bridges, or woods. I am not as young as I once was so now I know how ridiculous, shameful and flat out morally inhumane it is to not see Housing as a basic human right.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Yet, there are an estimated half a million people homeless in the United States, and as of 2021 Texas has an estimated 25,848 people which is the fourth highest rate in America. Seeking to find the brotherhood in allowing Americans to go without shelter especially when we know there are places and funds that can be allocated that would eliminate homelessness.
In the Houston Region, 50% is caused by an economic crisis(job loss, bills become higher than earnings), debunking common stereotypes that homelessness is caused by substance use- which actually accounts for less than 10% of homelessness locally. Numbers suggest that if housing were fair and affordable people would not have to resort to living on the streets, living room couches, cars, one to two night hotel rooms, or piss poor overnight shelters with limited beds. Hundreds of millions of dollars were disbursed as grants and aid to those facing eviction in wake of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. What about those who had barriers to housing because they were evicted before the pandemic? They too were in a major crisis, even now today it is hard or nearly impossible to get an apartment with an eviction on your record, even harder if you have been involved in the justice system.
Strenuous innovations to get affordable, fair housing and end homelessness will take a lot of funding, but we have all seen what the federal government is capable of and who it is capable of helping. According to the human rights act “ Everyone has a right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one should be arbitrarily deprived of his property”. The land is wide and the money is long. America is able to house each and every American, the money is there, we have all seen it, received sprinkles of it, and now we require it to house all.
Written by: Tesia Davis