Every community has its own special homeless situation, with circumstances unique to its specific geographic area. However, in almost all communities across California and the United States, it is the relative absence of affordable housing that causes so many to fall through the cracks and into the ranks of the homeless. The focus of Homeless Quarters entails a dual emphasis on both the homeless population, as well as the thousands who constitute the "near-homeless," with the ultimate aim of virtually eliminating homelessness altogether. Related story>> That can be accomplished by shifting our focus from managing the homeless, toward a more preventative policy designed to stem the tide of people joining their ranks.
This worthy objective will require raising our awareness regarding the challenges and obstacles endemic to Kern County. It will also require raising the money necessary to resolve this problem to the best of our ability. Applying the formula presented on the Home Page, and based on the fact that the population of Kern County is approximately 661,645 people, the following constitutes the scenario of choice: If one-quarter of the population (165,411 people) were to contribute just one quarter (25 cents) each day over a year's time, the total annual funds donated would equal $14,886,990 (165,411 X $.25 X 365 days). This boost in funding would put a spectacular dent in the homelessness problem locally. One priority, for example, is the provision of first and last months' rent money to those families and single adults who qualify, giving them the means necessary to move into otherwise affordable housing as it becomes available. An equally important priority entails applying a portion of your donations toward the refurbishing of existing buildings, making them habitable, family-friendly, and available at affordable prices to those with very minimal incomes.
When you boil things down to the bare bones, the dilemma in Kern County is the same as elsewhere: Too many families and singles are forced to pay out 50% or more of their meager income to provide a roof over their heads. Many thousands are just a paycheck or two away from entering the ranks of the homeless, as the price of housing continues to escalate and incomes continue to remain relatively static. Resolving the homelessness crisis in our area is in the best interests of the public. Economically, and in every other way. The community needs to come together on this to really make it happen. And Homeless Quarters will do whatever it can to help make the county of Kern a showcase of solutions that others will want to emulate. United We Stand Against Homelessness in America. SM
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