Sunday, April 1, 2018

NPR Reports on Me: Housing is Not a Human Right

National Public Radio reported on the homelessness fight in Orange County last week.

It still astounds me that the Board would attempt to dump homeless people onto two toxic sites near homes, parks, and schools.

It's just untenable.

My statement that housing is not a human right got significant attention, too:

Patrick Hogan has never been able to rebound after losing his home during the financial crash 10 years ago. He worked temp agency jobs. But $10 an hour jobs doesn't cut it in one of the most expensive corners of the nation.

"Fortunately I had friends I could stay with for a few months, but when they sold their home, that was it," Hogan says.

He ended up camping along with hundreds of others in a sprawling tent city in a dried up riverbed.

"My experience has taught me one thing," Hogan says. "The most discriminated group of people, at least in America, are the poor."

It depends on the person who is poor, and it depends on the actions they take to tackle their poverty. There were speakers at the Board meeting who shared their plight as homeless individuals in the past, but had found ready employment and steady housing afterwards. Many people can get out of these crises, as long as they face the lies which they were raised with and embrace truth and restoration in their lives.

Many people are more likely to get off the street and into housing and employment when they start making choices and taking responsibility for their lives. Mr. Patrick Hogan is a testimony to this truism. It was not just "luck", but opportunity and ability which helped him.

Hogan could easily be the poster child of the Southern California homelessness crisis. As housing costs skyrocket, and the income inequality gap widens, the problem has spread from more traditional enclaves like Los Angeles into affluent coastal areas in places like Orange County.

"Poster child"? Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Let's not forget that this is an article published by National Public Radio, and they are left of center, as though equality should be the indispensable condition and outcome of any society.

No it shouldn't.

Orange County is now under federal pressure to address what homeless advocates in court filings have called a humanitarian crisis. A federal judge agreed. The tent city along the Santa Ana River where Hogan once stayed was cleared a month ago. The county was ordered to pay for hotel vouchers while new, permanent shelters are found or built.

These problems come from misapplied federal laws and state mandates which make the cost of living more expensive without providing relief and opportunity to those in greatest need.

Those vouchers are set to expire this week and it's not clear where people will go.

Who is paying for these vouches, by the way? A number of children at the Boatrd meeting as well as adults commented that many homeless people do not want help. Many of them are drug addicts or mentally ill with a different set of needs. A friend of mine has a homeless relative who was given so many opportunities and resources. She chose to remain poor, homeless, and on the street.

The county's proposed plan to relocate homeless people from Santa Ana to temporary shelters on county land in more affluent coastal cities like Irvine and Huntington Beach drew well-organized protests. On Tuesday, chartered buses ferried hundreds of local residents to protest outside the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting.

There is hope for Orange County. We need middle-income earners to work just as hard organizing against this lawlessness all over the state. We need to see Moms and Dads work hard to pressure lawmakers and executives to put the needs of Americans first and stop blaming the rest of us

They chanted "No Tent City!" and waved signs that read "No Drugs Near Our Schools."

"Not all homeless people are bad but certain ones are," said Cheryl Nakano, of Irvine. "It's just not safe."

Nakano said this wasn't a "not in my backyard issue." She wants to see the county find a long-term solution to help the homeless: "Not just dumping them in tent cities."

Some protesters also said tackling homelessness has never been a top political priority in Orange County, one of the richest and traditionally more politically conservative counties in the United States.

Here we go: the liberal media slips out its bias once again, with no regard for the truth. Where are so many of these homeless people coming from, by the way? They are getting dumped in Orange County because of LA County and other liberal jurisdictions like ... Colorado! Yes, the police chief in El Segundo reported that many of the homeless in California are getting shipped to this state from other states who don't want to shoulder the cost.

"We're all sorry," said Todd Spitzer, Orange County supervisor, at a public hearing Tuesday. "We know we can do better, we're a smart county, we're an influential county, the nation is watching us."

But with protesters chanting outside, the county voted to rescind its plans — for now — to build three new emergency shelters. After the 4-0 vote, there was a chorus of boos mixing with loud applause.

Then came my statement, among many issued during public comment at the dias:

"Housing is not a human right," said Arthur Schaper.

Wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat, Schaper spoke during a lengthy — and often heated — public comment period.

WRONG! I was wearing a "Make California Great Again!" cap. I am so glad to be part of the growing movement to Make California Great Again:

"Expecting the government to solve every single problem is precisely why we are in the mess we are right now."

I stand by those remarks, and no one is going to make me backtrack. The federal government imposes mandates without funding--and even if there is funding, it's not their money to begin with! The money belongs to individual cities and local governments based on their income and revenue. The homelessness crisis has gone from bad to worse precisely because of government burdens, impositions, and overreach. Any discussion of a communistic solution--declaring property a "right"--will only exacerbate the crisis.

Friends of mine in attendance at the meeting thanked me for making a point about property and housing as commodities, not "rights". Glad that I could speak out against that folly:

The supervisors did commit to fast-tracking spending of more than $50 million in previously unspent dollars to help the poor.

Meanwhile, a few blocks from the hearing, a large homeless encampment of worn tents and blue tarps remained intact in front of the Santa Ana courthouse. A policeman in a nearby squad car monitored the camp. Nearby, an official temporary county shelter was open and bustling inside a converted bus terminal. Dozens of people slept on row after row of cots. Some of the shelter's residents had stacked up their backpacks and shopping carts full of their belongings outside the entrance.

Final Reflection

It's good that more of us are getting the word out for everyone to see what we are doing. This communistic, socialistic impulse must be confronted at every turn. Where do people get this idea that everyone is entitled to property from someone else? That is an ideology of demand and destruction, based on greed and envy.

A free enterprise system provides the most equitable means for providing for the needs and wants of any community. If you want more in your life, then you need to be willing to work harder for it. It's as simple as that.

The homelessness crisis is man-made. The Democrats in Sacramento created this mess, and they own every bit of it. All the talk of expanding the size of the state and taking more from those who make will not fix these contentious issues in any way. I am glad that I could speak out against that "human right" insanity at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

1 comment:

  1. can i use this post in a debate to say that housing is a human right?