There’s no place like home. Most of us genuinely and justifiably believe that our respective hometowns are very special. There is no doubt that they really are. We can get a bit overindulgent with such belief though. We tend to assume that social problems of all sorts are worse within our own Communities than they are in other Communities that we do not identify so much with.
No place is perfect. Most towns of significant population in America must contend with some degree of poverty, unemployment and homelessness nowadays. Even more contend with some degree of crime. Addiction has become an epidemic. Mental illness continues to proliferate. Conservatives blame liberals. Liberals blame conservatives. Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!
To make matters worse, some believe that other Communities, both near and far, send the less fortunate of their respective societies here. Such Communities supposedly compel those who benefit from their generosity and willingness to assume the expenses of travel, to board airplanes, trains and buses to Felton. Communities within minimal proximity purportedly use Uber.
So, . . . where are they? Where are all those who arrived at the train station or airport here in Felton from somewhere else? Where are the airport and train station? Of those who ride local buses or use Uber, who got just one of their fares paid by another municipality who wanted them to leave? We are acquainted with all of the less fortunate here. These are simple questions.
When we help someone from here get to somewhere else, it is only because of some sort of opportunity at the destination, such as employment or a domestic situation. If the less fortunate of other Communities come here, it is likely for the same reasons. They are now likely employed and living in homes.
Why do local politician get blamed for homelessness here? Did one of them evict someone from a formerly functional domestic situation, . . . or several someones? Did a local politician cause people to become unemployed and consequently unable to afford their respective mortgages or rent? Did just one politician somehow contribute to anyone else’s personal social dysfunction?
Well, like I said earlier, blame is easy.
Now that the rate of homelessness here continues to decline, will local politicians get the credit? Will anyone thank them for the locally declining unemployment rate? Should there be at least some scrap of acknowledgment of the effort devoted to improvement of local homeless shelters? Will we merely take all of it for granted, and find something else to blame local politician for?
Apparently, gratitude is not as easy as blame is.
Politicians have enough to be concerned about without being blamed for other people’s problems, and being expected to fix them. All they can really do is develop strategies and promote the development of opportunities for others to improve their situations. Implementation of such strategies must be a team effort that includes other governmental officials and the Community.
Yes, the Community. How many of us are willing to rent a vacant studio to someone who has been homeless, perhaps for less than market rates? How many of us would help an unemployed neighbor with overdue bills? Fortunately for our Community, most of us would silently do what we could when necessary. But of course, most of us do not blame politicians for homelessness.
The same minority who blames politicians for homelessness also does the least about it. Their irrational intolerance of homelessness is, individually, their personal problem, which should not be assumed as a problem of those who work for the entire Community.
‘Misconceptions’ could become another category for this blog, like ‘Hypocrisy’. There is quite a bit to write about that could be categorized as such. It would be more relevant and interesting than the ‘Hypocrisy’ category, especially if the ‘Hypocrisy’ category is eventually deleted, as has been suggested. Furthermore, ‘Misconceptions’ would be less objectionable than ‘Hypocrisy’.
‘Immigration’, for example, is an
interesting topic that is unobjectionably relevant to homelessness,
but only because of the misconception that most homeless people here
immigrated with the intention of being homeless. This misconception
is obviously perpetuated by those who are not very acquainted with
homeless people, particularly the local homeless residents of Felton.
There are certainly more homeless
people in California than elsewhere. There should be. There are more
people of all sorts in California than elsewhere. California is the
most populous state. Because real estate here is more expensive than
all but only a few other places in America, a disproportionate ratio
of those who live and earn income here can not afford a mortgage or
Most homeless people in California
lived here while they were not homeless. They payed mortgages and
property taxes or rent just like anyone who lives in a home. Some
payed significantly more than average. Most had gainful careers here.
Some raised families here. Sadly, some who are homeless are in the
process of raising their families. Some have never lived anywhere
Of the few homeless people presently
in Felton, only one immigrated from outside California less than a
decade ago, early in 2013. Only one immigrated from outside America,
but did so for work in the early 1990s. All others are Californian,
and have been in Felton for many years. More than half are native to
the San Lorenzo Valley. More than half formerly owned homes.