Failing homeless purposely with strategic dishonesty
Previously we learned, while Alderman Cappleman and Mayor Emanuel were busy violently wiping homeless encampments off the map of Chicago, they were already plotting their next planned failure for people experiencing homelessness, Tiny Homes.
More than 80,000 people experience homelessness annually in Chicago. The City’s viaduct homelessness pilot program housed less than 75 of them, a success rate of less than one one-hundredth of one percent (0.01%). I’m guessing few of us bringing such a success rate to our employers would face continued employment.
This is the challenge Chicago politicians rise without delay to, how to fail miserably and LIE to Chicago residents (their employers) that they are succeeding, that they care, and/or that they are doing something realistic to help.
Rather than followup with a larger, more effective program to house homeless people, the City’s answer is another inconsequential pilot program that will likely house even less or probably NO currently homeless people, Tiny Homes.
My belief is that housing NO currently homeless people is the goal of the City of Chicago Tiny Homes initiative.
Tiny Homes as envisioned by the City
Tiny Homes for the homeless sounds like a great concept, doesn’t it?
We’ve all seen many pictures of cute and pretty cool tiny homes. Wonderful, if you are somewhere between retirees from the North Shore or tech employed millennials seeking a simpler, scaled down and more affordable home. Still, this housing need shouldn’t be a publicly funded priority. These homes have nothing to do with housing the homeless. They are not an alternative to Tent Cities or Shelters.
Cappleman, Emanuel, their complicit aldermen (in other words, all of them) and their complicit non-profits should NOT be using the misery of people experiencing homelessness to further their phony, corrupt, insignificant or naive goals.
BootStrap Villages, the tiny home group Cappleman promotes, is planning on homes, modeled after other tiny homes that cost/sell for for $45,000-$65,000. The City of Chicago is gearing up to allow a zoning variance for a 5-6 home pilot program in Englewood and perhaps other locations. Credible sources say no other zoning for Tiny Homes will be allowed until after (if ever) the pilot and certainly not the type of zoning homelessness advocates believe is essential to help homeless people right now.
The scale of these type of plans is comedy at the public’s expense, considering the true scale and nature of the homelessness crisis in Chicago. Additionally, with a rigorous application process, accepting only residents prepared for home ownership, and making payments such as $300/month, who is fooled that this will help the homeless in any appreciable way?
Like the City’s viaduct homelessness pilot program housing people for up to 2 years, the City’s Tiny Homes initiative will make not even a drop in the bucket of homelessness in Chicago. It is an insult to anyone that can read. Cappleman’s expensive splashy video and TV circuit promotion makes it even more insulting.
Homelessness exists in crisis proportions
Homelessness is a right now, in your face, personal emergency. It is not fun, your problems have no patience. This is what Chicago government doesn’t seem to get or more accurately likely, doesn’t give a hoot about.
The Mayor and every single alderman, and I mean every one of them without exception, are completely detached from their humanity. To them, the value of life, as shown by their actions, is ZERO.
If these politicians had an ounce of human compassion, they would right now, today, in emergency fashion, in every ward and every neighborhood in the City use their full time attention, resources and funding to solve this crisis. They wouldn’t stop doing something about homelessness for one day, they would drop everything else. If they had empathy capabilities, they would understand this is exactly the type of emergency homelessness is. You can’t do anything effectively without a home.
They would pass every law necessary (they are law makers after all) and do everything from bringing in thousands of FEMA trailers to opening every vacant building to house the homeless. They have the funds, resources and power to do this. They choose not to.
The facts are that excuses and corruptions fill the spots where their human compassion should be. Purposeful, naive or deluded, it doesn’t matter, the lack of their real actions tells the story.
Tiny Homes envisioned by homelessness advocates
In consideration of reality, Tent Cities were a useful release valve for people experiencing homeless that couldn’t or wouldn’t absorb into the present homelessness system. No rigorous application, no income, no credit worthiness or legal status were necessary. If you were living on a sidewalk or sleeping on a train, if you had no spot on the face of the earth to call your home, you had one in an instant. Emergency at bay.
Horrible alternative? Yes, of course. There isn’t a homeless advocate that doesn’t want true and real housing for everyone. Housing is a human right! At the same time, we all said among ourselves, if we only had land and could build semi-permanent structures, this would be an immediate start and somewhere community and case management could be fostered.
The city needs to provide free land in every ward, period. Zoning is needed now for tiny homes as low as 100 square feet. Plumbing and sanitation facilities need to be in a common use building, not in the individual homes. Per home costs need to be less than $5,000.
There is more of course, but the whole point is to quickly address an emergency, not shore up the tax base. The point is to facilitate groups that are ready now to act. The point is NOT to do something in scale that 100 years from now, might be noticed as a blip. The point is NOT to set up a system that guarantees failure.
Tiny Homes could be a Godsend, an incredible major part of the solution for homelessness in Chicago, but not as Chicago City Council has designed and handicapped them.
I’m biased and I make no bones about it. I’m a Jewish follower of Jesus. I have yet to find in the Bible anything that remotely suggests building ice skating rinks, Ferris wheels or luxury housing before housing, feeding and caring for the least among us is the correct priority. Faith and non-faith advocacy groups alike will surely have a variety of motivations and solutions, but one thing a majority of the population is in agreement with is, the problem of homelessness needs to be solved, and sooner than later.
Chicago city government misprioritizes its responsibilities, both human and financial, and frankly is quite dishonest about it. Tiny Homes in all their forms are probably some kind of a positive contribution to Chicago’s housing stock but the forms the Chicago City Council are endorsing will not help homelessness. Our government deceives us and should be held accountable.
Join me and pray for -every- alderman and the Mayor to find out, the hard way if necessary, exactly how painful and scary being homeless is, please. Pray for realistic and effective Tiny Homes laws and the properly prioritized and honest support of our elected officials.
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