Details of this innovative plan to fight homelessness, created by The Assertive Kids Foundation President, were provided in an article appearing in the Staten Island Hyper-Local Paper, StatenIslander.Org.
In the article, the concept of Earth-friendly “Green” high-rise buildings was proposed. Residents would live there, rent-free, until they are able to afford housing elsewhere, or become eligible for public housing.
The apartments would be quite small, by any standards, but would have a bathroom with shower and toilet, a kitchenette area with sink, and living space where a person, or family, could live their lives, protected from the elements, as well as the harsher street denizens.
Compared to living out of a van or in a cardboard box, having one’s own apartment, regardless of how tiny, would be a significant improvement.
Work opportunities, right in the building, would be available, as well as job and substance abuse counseling.
Jobs would include everything from working phones as customer service representatives, to helping run an in-building hydroponics center, as well as solar-panel fabrication plant.
Residents would be permitted to work outside the building for money, at traditional jobs; having an income does not disbar residents from eligibility to live in the towers. In fact, some families in the United States work and live out of motor vehicles. Families could save for an apartment, or they could opt to remain as residents, living rent-free.
The plan is open-ended; that is, private sector companies, nonprofits, or even municipalities could cooperate to make this plan a reality. There may be different implementations of this plan, varying by area and city.
The game aspect of the plan involves providing “credits” to residents, which may be used on-site, or traded or gifted to others living in the Last Resort Towers.
Credits are granted for merely sleeping in the building overnight. Credits are also granted for doing community service, as well as working within the Last Resort Towers’ at the various work opportunities available.
This plan would certainly lower the number of individuals and families living on the streets or in their cars and vans, and might even help to cut crime. How?
Access to the buildings would be strictly controlled. As a good portion of crime occurs at night; being awarded credits for sleeping in could reduce these figures.
Drug sales to other residents would effectively evict a resident. And, drugs fuel a high percentage of crimes. On-site counseling, as well as a culture of acceptance, could help reduce prison populations. Homeless shelters, both city-run and those operated by charities, would no longer be overburdened or over-run with crime.
Those claiming this is a “far left” idea should remember that private business could play a significant role in the plan, and the goal is to help homeless people by providing a stable foundation from which they may live their lives.
No matter what your political leanings, we all can agree that homelessness in the wealthiest nation on Earth makes no sense. Assertive Kids encourages you, the reader, to read the article at StatenIslander.Org, and keep an open mind.