AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationwide, in response to homelessness, municipal budgets have exploded to include the creation of emergency shelters, expanded police/court systems, over burdened emergency health systems etc. We are witnessing an increased reliance on: food stamps, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, General Assistance, and Earned Income Tax Credits.
The Austin, Texas-based nonprofit, House the Homeless, Inc. released a report detailing a 10 Year Plan to End and Prevent Economic Homelessness, restore human dignity, and save business and taxpayers billions of dollars! www.HousetheHomeless.org
We know the homeless to be veterans, single moms, youth who have aged out of foster care, and folks with serious physical and mental health concerns. Think of these folks as those who can work or those who cannot work. Factor in that the single most expensive item in the budget of every American, is housing. At the lowest level, two federal standards establish people's ability to afford that housing. For those who can work, we find 20 million minimum wage workers earning at a wage of $7.25 per hour under the Federal Minimum Wage. That's so low that folks are falling out of the workforce and into homelessness even while working 40 hours a week. The Universal Living Wage guarantees the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, housing, (including utilities) and public transportation. Using a three pronged formula, based on existing government guidelines, calling for spending no more than 30% of one's income on housing and by indexing to the local cost of housing, we prevent economic homelessness while stimulating the economy!
The report also explores the idea of fixing the Supplemental Security Income, SSI stipend in a similar fashion and then focuses on society's institutions (military, school, prison, hospital, foster care etc.) recognizing that they have the power and responsibility to discharge individuals into, appropriate environments. "Discharge No One into Homelessness" captures this approach. House the Homeless explores this concept by looking at our nation's prison institution.
Small businesses, local governments and taxpayers will see substantial monetary benefits. Enactment of the ULW will stabilize workers while curtailing destructive employee turnover. Taxpayers will see instant reduction of excess public benefits. The economy will be instantly stimulated as billions of dollars are spent right back into the marketplace and the local construction industry also will swing into action nationwide. It will end economic homelessness for over 1,000,000 minimum wage workers and prevent it for all 20 million.
600 copies of our detailed proposal have already been sent to all of Congress, all governors, select Cabinet members as well as to Vice President Biden, President and Mrs. Obama.
As an action strategy, we've just mailed 1,424 more copies of our document to all U.S. Mayors.
We are asking the Mayors to send a signed Resolution to the US Congress seeking taxpayer relief by calling for adjustment to the Federal Minimum Wage (for those who can work) and to the Supplemental Security Income stipend, SSI, (for those who cannot work). This will ensure that anyone working 40 hours in a week, will be able to afford basic rental housing, (efficiency apartment) wherever that work is done throughout the United States by indexing the wage and stipend to the local cost of housing. We offer formulas to accomplish both adjustments, which will result in the saving of billions of dollars to taxpayers/businesses while housing the poorest of our nation's poor while stimulating our economy.
Contact: Richard R. Troxell
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SOURCE House the Homeless