A Problem that SHOULD NOT Exist

Our communities, government and the human population are becoming desensitized to the homelessness and the disenfranchised.  Everybody deserves a place to sleep and something to eat. This video was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Messer and Nicole Malovany with the help of DePaul University in Chicago. Homelessness is prevalent in the United States and even more so in urban areas.

I live in Baltimore City and almost every day I see someone asking for change or food. If I have it to give I do. I watch others who will do the same and more often than necessary I see others who ignore and disrespect those who are need.

When I think of all of the vacant buildings and the food waste in Baltimore City, I know collectively, as communities, government and individuals we could make a difference in reducing homelessness not only in Baltimore City but everywhere.

How much money do you think it cost a city to have vacant buildings? I am going to say a lot. There is property maintenance and legal fees for finding dead beat property owners, unpaid taxes, crime and lower property values.  Per  The National Vacant Properties Campaign,  “An examination of the St. Paul, Minnesota budget for maintenance and security costs associated with vacant buildings revealed that while demolition saves $4,697 (million) the rehabilitation of a vacant building will save an estimated $7,141 (million) in maintenance costs over a twenty-year period”. Click the link to see their full report. http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/true-costs.pdf.   We should reallocate resources to create sustainable transitional housing.

How much money do you think it cost restaurateurs to through away food that could be served   to the hungry? Regardless of the answer to that question, it is a monetary loss when it could be a human equity gain. The Food Recovery Network states that “The United States wastes over 35 million tons of food every year that makes more than 20 pounds of food per person every month”.  Check out what The Food Recovery Network is doing in regards to feeding the hungry at http://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/.

The strategic factors for elevating Ronald Davis and others from homelessness are as follows: Community, Connection, Control, Cash and Collective Action.  Click the link to see the tools we could use in this challenge. http://www.campaignconsultation.com/5cs/.  Below is a spotlight on how others are supporting the under serve.  I really want to hear your thoughts and ideas on the issue.  Please leave a comment.

http://picturethehomeless.org/

http://www.change.org/petitions/house-the-homeless-in-vacant-and-abandoned-buildings

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/waste_not/flashfood-mobile-app-diverts-restaurant-food-waste-feed-hungry

http://huduser.org/portal/publications/LifeAfterTransition.pdf

 

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Demetria Barrett

Finance & Operations Manager at Campaign Consultation, Inc.
I have an affinity with nonprofits and small businesses. My commitment to making a change, growing small businesses and volunteering my skills are recognized throughout Baltimore City. As Finance and Operations Manager, I am responsible for managing all functions pertaining to finance, human resources, and operations necessary to maintain an effective, efficient, and sound corporate environment. Read more.

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