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Poem: "Homeless, Tenantless" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Homeless, Tenantless"

This poem came from the March 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  Yes, it's true that empty houses greatly outnumber homeless people.


Homeless, Tenantless


All homes are houses
but not all houses are homes.

There are over five empty houses
for each person who lacks a place to live.

America is becoming a nation
of homeless people and tenantless houses.

They look through the windows at each other,
yearning for what they are told they cannot have.

It is considered more important to protect
the wealth of the few than the well-being of the many.

Every man for himself,  chant the headlines,
while the Devil takes the hindmost one by one by one.

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Current Mood: busy busy

13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: March 10th, 2013 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
It seems as though there ought to be a way to fix this, but I'm not creative enough to figure out what it might be.
siege From: siege Date: March 10th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only way to begin a fix is to remove the prices from the houses; that is, a government takover or buyout. After that, however, the problems of homelessness only begin with not being housed. Some people have gone feral and lost their house-brokenness after being in the open for so long, while others never had the skills to keep a house, or even just live in one without destroying it.

So many questions, but the tangle has to be worked out somewhere.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 10th, 2013 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Actually the first step is to prevent more people from becoming homeless. That is always preferable. Next is to rehome people who had one recently until it was taken from them; over the last several years, a great many people have been forcibly robbed of homes they worked very hard to acquire and maintain.

People who don't know how to live in and maintain a house can be taught. Habitat for Humanity is good at that.

People who don't want to live in a house should be left alone to live elsewhere.

And while we're at it, better resources in the way of mental health care and other social support should be provided to the veterans, queer youth, and other high-risk groups.

That would get almost everyone off the streets.
From: chordatesrock Date: March 10th, 2013 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

How would you suggest preventing homelessness?

Won't people find a way to shove others to the margins again, after you've solved this problem?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 10th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

>>How would you suggest preventing homelessness?<<

Outlaw predatory lending practices. Require banks to negotiate with homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Honestly, look into expanding halal mortgages beyond the Muslim community.

We also need to solve the problems of medical and student debt, the overwhelming majority of home default and bankruptcy cases.

>>Won't people find a way to shove others to the margins again, after you've solved this problem?<<

Yes, but at least we can make the bastards work for it.
From: chordatesrock Date: March 11th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Interesting. How would you solve the problems of medical and student debt?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 11th, 2013 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

>>How would you solve the problems of medical and student debt?<<

1) Single-payer health care plan covering everyone, modeled after the best parts of ... say, the top ten rated countries in terms of current health care systems.

2) Short term: Cap interest rates on student loans. Make all of them subject to the same rules as other loans, so they can be dispensed in case of bankruptcy or handicapped status. Payments are only owed when the graduate has a job, and are held to a percentage that allows the person enough of their paycheck left to actually live on.

Long term: Society is obligated to provide free however much of a setup it demands for its newly adult citizens. Therefore, if college is expected, it must be available free to students and funded by taxes, just as lower school is. Ideally, I'd put the tax squarely on big business, since they're the ones wanting higher-trained workers; let them pay for it. Or they can shut the fuck up about college degrees and pay for their own worker training via trade schools.
From: chordatesrock Date: March 11th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Interesting. Thank you.
siege From: siege Date: March 11th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

I think we need new guilds. Not just unions, but guilds, with all that implies: masterships, apprentices, obligations to teach, and an obligation to improve and grow the trade. I'm not sure trade secrets really applies, but some jobs still have them.

I'd start with nuclear engineers, and populate its lower ranks with people intending to enter college as engineering students.
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: March 24th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, some folks have taken up squatting... but that tends to be frowned upon.
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: March 24th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. This is quite relevant to my situation. I'm not properly homeless yet, but I'm starting to go rabid, glaring at churches and wishing I could pick the locks because they have WINDOWS dammit and nobody seems to be using them half the time. C'mon, ain't like the gods're using 'em...

Reblogged on tumblr

--Rogan
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: March 24th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Doy. Reblogged on tumblr here.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 25th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)

*hugs*

I wish your living situation were safe enough that you didn't have to feel that way.
13 comments or Leave a comment