Homeless In America

By
Real Estate Agent with Real Estate Showcase Photography

 

Homeless In America

"There but for the grace of God, go I" - attributed to John Bradford, 16th Century

In any given night in America, 700,000 to 2 million people have no home to go to. Staggering statistic? Yes. And these numbers were from 1996.


In Colorado Springs, Fountain Creek runs parallel to Interstate 25.
It has become 'home' to many of the city's considerable homeless population. It is estimated that Colorado Spring's chronic homeless number about 350 persons, and about 750 more have joined the homeless population due to job loss. That puts the number of people living on the streets, or along the creek bed, at approximately 1100.

Homeless in America

Local Shelters are filled to capacity, and while the city struggles to find a solution, the homeless camps remain. Some cities around the country are providing basic services to their 'tent cities' on public land, such as portable toilets, (which I saw today at a few of the camps I photographed), trash pick up, firewood, and mobile medical vans.

Homeless in America

A few of the homeless are there because they want to be. Most are not.

Homeless in America

 

Homeless in America

Why not designate an area, provide the needed services, and give these people a place to live with some dignity while we all await better times?

Homeless in America

Proudly, in just 24 hours, we as Americans donated 10 million dollars to the relief effort in Haiti.

Homeless in America

Granted, it's not on the same scale, but are the fast growing tent cities across America not also a crisis?

Homeless in America

Statistics show that most homeless are men. But more and more women and children are joining them as families lose their jobs, and with them, the ability to pay rent. This is a cold, and dangerous way to live.

While I took these photos in Colorado Springs, I'm sure they are indiscernible from any other city in the country.

Blog Update:

While researching statistics for this post, (very little current data exists), I ran across an online book by Kenneth Churchill, called the American Homeless Land Model.  On the very first page, I read something that I had never considered before.  I emailed Mr. Churchill asking permission to use it in this post.  I wrote this post before hearing back from him.  I am printing this shocking truth now, with his permission:

"The law forbids the common lands as a place of abode for the accruement of resources and the protection of life and property. There is not one square foot of land in the United States where a homeless person can stand, for a moment in time, legally. It does not exist. Homelessness is unlawful. A Homeless person's existence is unlawful. Their homelessness status is a condition of perpetual criminality. They are continually on someone else's land; inevitably asked to move on to some illusory lawful destination, presumed to exist, but never found."

I would also like to add that I emailed our local Pikes Peak Association of Realtors today, and received a swift reply of support for a call to action among our 3,000 members.

Contact your local board!

Question - What is NAR doing to help?

 

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Re-Bloggged 19 times:

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  1. Fred Carver 01/19/2010 07:14 AM
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  5. Tere Rottink 01/20/2010 08:40 AM
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Rainer
9,254
Randy G. Morley
The Home Brokers, Inc.

Russell... One must remember that the statistics change,.. what was is not an indicator of what is. It must also be remembered that the reports are scued by those reporting. Even if those reports were true in 1994 and 1982,.. they are not true today and certainly are not limited to the laws of Newton.

1982 and 1994 were boom times and jobs were plentiful,.. today,.. that simply is NOT the case. Much if not the majority of our current homeless were our neighbors yesterday,.. they are the people down the block who's job was outsourced, or who's company folded,.. who lost their home or could not cover their rent. Who have gone through whatever emergency funds they had available and now have no other alternative.

Are there those who "choose" their lifestyle,.. absolutely,.. but we do our citizens an injustice when we assume that all are the same and that they by in large are "happy" with their lifestyle. We need, as a nation, not to provide "for" them, thereby simply adding to the problem,.. but we do need to provide a way for those who choose to,.. to climb out of the situation that they are in. Something that simply is not available today.

We offer no solutions, and in our area,.. simply want to outlaw camping on public grounds,.. sweep them under the rug and get them out of site,.. let's "pretend" to be perfect and have no problems.

That is not the solution, nor is it consistant with who we are as a people,.. if we have a problem,.. let's address it and correct it. We don't sweep it under the rug or bury our heads in the sand,.. and we certainly don't take the words of a few and assume they speak for an entire population,.. that would be the same as assuming that every inspector was worthless because the last one hired was,.. or every Realtor was sleazy because of the one that was.

Can I hear an Amen??

February 02, 2010 11:50 AM
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
Real Estate Showcase Photography

Amen.

February 02, 2010 12:12 PM
Rainer
117,186
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Where Buying & Selling Works
Keller Williams Suburban Realty

For some reason we are able to pass a homeless person in the street and say 'shame on them' but see suffering people around the world and run. But at the same time, in this case, the devastation was so high that it was too hard to turn away. But I have been torn lately because I gave to Haiti and can't give to other local needs right now.

February 11, 2010 03:49 PM
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
Real Estate Showcase Photography

Hi Bev - I understand what you're saying. We are always faced with choices - some harder than others. Often, we would rather not  have to make  a choice - and just go with it.

Debi

February 11, 2010 06:59 PM
Rainmaker
139,910
Michele Rose
Moorestown Home Staging & Redesign
Rose-Colored Staging

Debi, thanks for bringing more awareness to this growing problem.  Your article is beautifully compassionate and has touched many hearts.  Thank you!

May 16, 2010 04:42 PM
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Rainmaker
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Debi Boucher

"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
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