My professional and personal experience with many homeless people through my roles as pastor of a Local Church for 30 years as well as a principal of nonprofit organizations, I have come to the conclusion that we need to tackle the root of the problem, not its external issues. My mission has always been creating jobs through supporting education for future generations and creating a stable workforce giving job training make Americans more stable and strong.
1. Homelessness throughout southern California has reached crisis proportions. “In a state with vast amounts of wealth, more than 150,000 of its residents sleep in shelters, cars, or on the street”(CalMatters). The percentage of homelessness reported has risen by a staggering 16% during the past year alone, and it has started to threaten our well-being as a community. Most homeless people didn’t choose to be destitute or prefer to live on the streets, but they have to depend on charitable donations to survive from day to day.
Some suffer from mental health issues, some from addictions, some lost their homes during the financial crisis or for other economic reasons, and some have been out of work so long that they have given up on seeking employment altogether. The primary solution on which the governor, mayors, and community leaders are focusing today is to provide affordable housing, and this is certainly a major issue.
2. The employment rate may be at an all-time high today, but times are still tough for the homeless; many of whom don’t have the education, skills, motivation, or hopes to find a job. Billions of hard-earned tax-payers’ money have been poured into resolving problems related to homelessness, but politicians do not seem to be effective in providing realistic solutions.
The construction field is always running short of people willing to perform work; as is the technology and green energy companies. They may be painters, plumbers, general construction workers, solar panel installers and so on. Some candidates may propose to secure additional shelters for the homeless population, but I actually have specific plans to turn them into average American citizens just like you and me.
3. If the homeless are placed in a job, it can still be many months until they can afford to get out of a shelter. This can trigger a relapse for many that can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. “California’s stock of “naturally occurring” affordable housing is dwindling, as shoddy, older apartments that used to house lower-income families are increasingly taken by higher-income tenants”(CalMatters).
1. Foreclosure prevention is the first step. people who have lost their jobs and are unable to pay the mortgage may potentially become homeless. We can assist them in keeping their houses by making a program available to them. If homeowners are foreclosed upon and forced to live in a homeless shelter, they cannot support themselves to keep their homes by government money.
Job training could be provided to keep their house as well to prevent them from becoming homeless, Providing shelter and food may temporarily resolve the issue by merely dealing with the outcome, rather than the core of the issue itself. I would like to present a precise, and to-the-point method to resolve this issue.
2. I want to create a homeless support center and youth start-up center for economic growth and job creation. I believe that the best solution is to provide vocational training and job opportunities for the homeless. It’s an example of traditional wisdom: give people a fish, and they can eat for a day; teach them to fish, and they can eat for a lifetime. This has been the successful mission of my non-profit organization, and it has become a personal mission for me.
I will work to end homelessness in my district through promoting and providing educational and vocational training, so all of us who care for the homeless can live in peace and prosperity. Construction and Clean Energy jobs are high demand and the homeless can transition into these careers quickly. “Clean energy employment grew 3.6% in 2018, adding 110,000 net new jobs (4.2% of all jobs added nationally in 2018), and employers expect 6% job growth in 2019”(Forbes).
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ #1 and #2 fastest-growing occupations are solar panel installers and wind turbine service technicians. These are good, solidly middle-class jobs that provide above-average salaries without needing a college degree. These are good, long term, sustainable jobs that increase the local tax base and makes communities stronger.
3. We will provide an emergency 6-month voucher for those that complete vocational training or apprenticeship. This will allow those that have shown the willingness to better themselves the ability to have their own place. “Permanent supportive housing is a pillar of the “housing first” model of ending homelessness”(CalMatters). This is a temporary solution until this new working member of society can get established. Many of the homeless want more from life. We should provide extra help to those that are looking for a hand up instead of a handout.