david l. bowser wrote a letter to the editor in which he complained about the growing homeless population camped out in duncan plaza on the grounds of city hall, calling it an eye sore. it always amazes when i run across people who seem to have no compassion but for the grace of god go we. the local news did a report on the homeless around city hall and many of them had lost everything in the storm, were working, but were unable to afford the rising rental prices. a thousand or more to rent is impossible especially when you factor in the fact that wages have not gone up in new orleans to help off set these sky rocketing rents. how are people suppose to live here? now the city is proposing demolishing all the area housing projects, citing storm damage and the failed social experiment of concentrating the poor in isolated areas. they plan to build mixed income housing. look, i do not have all the answers and i do think that creating ghettos is psychologically damaging to those that are forced into them but my gripe is that you cannot take away low income housing without providing a viable alternative while on the path to a better plan. the homeless need shelter now and not because they are an eye sore but because they are human beings and it is the right thing to do. what are they expected to do while they wait for the environmental impact study, demolition, and finally construction to take place? the problem is now. it is the same with the health care crisis and they put us off with some future date for a state of the art hospital complex. these issues are linked. many of the homeless are suffering mental health problems but there are no resources for them. i consider myself incredibly lucky that i didn't lose everything in the storm and i find it hard to imagine what that must be like. i cannot fathom losing my family in the flood as well as the little reminders of our past that we collect through the years. what must it be like not to have one photo from your childhood? that is enough to send anyone over the edge.
as i said earlier, i do not have all the answers but i know if we sit around waiting for the government to take action then nothing will be accomplished. my room mate pointed out that the only way to get involved is directly. so, david l. bowser; if you think the homeless are a blight on this fine city, then put your money where your mouth is and help someone. give of your time and of your money. stop to ask them what went wrong that they wound up homeless. are they waiting for road home money that they may never see? can you help them repair their house? can you give them a hot meal or help them clean up in order to get a job if they do not already have one? and if you are a land lord, slash your rental prices. i know you can get new york city money but when you do, you hurt new orleans. we have to band together and take care of each other because just like in the aftermath of katrina, no help is coming. if you want new orleans to succeed, then help a new orleanian and for god's sake, VOTE!
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