The Quest to End Poverty in America Part 13

Where do we go from here?

For those who feel entitled to handouts

This is where our biggest challenge will be.  I once met a man who showed me an x-ray of his broken pinky finger (just the tip looked broken).  He insisted that this should qualify him for disability.  The truth is that his disability is that he was lazy.  He expected his live in girlfriend to bring in the bacon, care for the kids and clean the house while he would hang out with his friends and play basketball in the backyard.  What can we possibly to with men or women like that? 

As long as his girlfriend supports him there will be little that we can do.  This man will call every church in town (using his smart phone) to plead, beg and ask for help in order to supplement her income.  The poverty mindset is that as long as he is a lover and fighter he is a keeper.  Eventually, though that woman will come to her senses and will want to be with a man that will take care of her.  She deserves more and when she realizes it than we can help him out with job training, etc. 

Assuming that he rejects that, we must allow him to feel the pain of his choices.  A safe and secure group home where he has limited rights and privileges might be in order.  While living there he would be offered opportunities to overcome the disease of laziness. With work will come freedoms and more opportunities to live a good life.  By the way, we already have these, they are called prisons.  What I am recommending here for those that desire to be a drain on society is that they get compassion and help but that they pay for that care by giving up a portion of their rights.

For those ready to move ahead

Now these are the people that most excite me!    

Imagine that they move to a life recovery home.  There would be separate wings for married couples, single men and single women.  This place would offer food and shelter in a safe and secure environment.  During the day they would attend classes and participate in job training.  At night they return to their home.  They would still have curfews like the other homes but this location would have more variety of food.  They would have a later curfew.  Along the way house parents would help them learn basic life skills to include parenting, home cleaning, budgeting and other important skills.  Graduation requirements would require them to have a job along with good attendance and participation in all training.  Most people would need to spend 18-24 months in this training.  But those that graduate would be entitled to apply to the tiny houses program listed below.

Tiny Houses

Imagine a small gated community where the neighbors all know each other.  Each home is owned or is being paid for by those that are living inside.  The houses are not very large.  But they all provide a kitchen, bedrooms and a living room for family times.  This community requires everyone to attend a weekly community meeting to resolve conflicts and any other issues.  Drug and alcohol use is strictly prohibited in this little community.  Neighbors watch out for each other and encourage each other.  In the back yard of each home is a small vegetable garden growing the owner’s favorite veggies.  Close to the house lining the sidewalk up to their homes are rows of flowers that highlight the fresh flowers growing in flower boxes below the windows of the home.  In the center of the neighborhood is a large hydroponics plant where some of the residents work.  Others work to sell the vegetables and the fish to nearby restaurants and grocery stores.  Profits would be used to make neighborhood improvements.  When the family has stabilized and is doing well they can choose to stay or if they desire they can sell their home to others who are graduating the program.  This will give them the starter money to purchase a home in the regular world.