Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Pass nationwide legislation that will gradually end homelessness in the United States
A shocking success story in Utah proves that homelessness in America need not remain an unsolvable predicament. Utah has been effectively mitigating this injustice for the past eight years simply by giving homeless people homes to live in. As a result, Utah’s rate of homelessness has been reduced by a miraculous 78 percent. Urge our government to enact this program in all fifty states and end homelessness in the United States.
Because Utah decided to give away free homes to the homeless, it is expected that the state will end homelessness by 2015. The logic behind this surprising achievement is fairly simple: the state spends approximately $16,670 per homeless person annually on hospital bills and jail stays. The state pays only $11,000 to give a homeless person an apartment and a social worker.
While some were concerned that the project would result in big handouts and little change, the results speak for themselves. Homelessness was significantly reduced, and the state has saved money since the project was started in 2005.
If each individual state adopted a similar project, not only would the nation have more money to spend on organizations that boost the economy and benefit the needy, but those who need the most will finally have a roof over their heads. Ending homelessness should be a goal for every American citizen.
Utah’s Housing First program also further proves that homelessness is a complex issue, and that homeless people do not simply choose to live on the streets. They are victims of an unjust system that rewards those who have access to good education, good healthcare, and a safe and nurturing environment. Those born into poverty are already at a great disadvantage and struggle to climb the social ladder when the rungs of success are continually pulled out from underneath. No one can receive higher education from the side of a curb. No one can hold down a job with dirty clothes or without transportation. No one can thrive without a bed to sleep in at night.
Homelessness is a vicious cycle of unmet needs and it is extremely difficult to escape it.
It is time to give every American a chance to succeed. Basic shelter is a necessity for all. Urge our president to enact legislation that will combat this injustice by providing homeless people with a place to live in all fifty states.
Dear President Barack Obama,
Due to the surprising success of Utah’s Housing First program that hands out free homes to the homeless, the state’s rate of homelessness had been reduced by 78 percent in under a decade, and it is even expected that Utah will end homelessness altogether by 2015.
This program betters the economy, reduces injustice, and changes thousands of lives. Most importantly, it gives our nation’s needy a chance to succeed and climb out of poverty; it is impossible for impoverished citizens to achieve success if they are denied basic shelter. Therefore, I urge you to enact legislation that will provide every homeless American with a home.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: C. G. P. Grey via Wikimedia Commons