Trump’s Terrifying Proposal for Housing Homeless People

Trump

Skid Row/ Los Angeles, California, 2019…

Sometimes called the “epicenter of the homeless crisis,” Skid Row has long been a reflection of extreme poverty dwelling in the shadows of extreme opulence. It is here that more than 2,000 members of LA’s homeless population reside in tents or on lawn chairs, their faces riddled with anxiety, their bodies beaten by the harsh elements of the heavily polluted outdoor metropolis. The streets here are like nothing ever seen in a contemporary nation known for wealth. Thousands of people are forced to share about nine toilets in total, resulting in streets lined with buckets of human urine and feces. As sanitation dwindles, communicable diseases soar to the point where Medieval plagues have returned to the modern world. But Skid Row is not exactly a modern tragedy.

The foundation for this travesty was laid decades ago – in the aftermath of the Great Depression, in the midst of a low-cost rental shortage, in the ruins left behind by the first Olympic Games. Taking its name from the “Skid Rows” popping up all across the country, this once-thriving Los Angeles neighborhood began to exhibit traits of a third-world country in terms of poverty and lack of services. Today, it is just one of many California regions losing a battle to homelessness.

California contains more homeless people than any other state in the entire country. Homeless rates in LA alone have risen by at least 30% while homeless fatalities have skyrocketed by 76%.

For years, decades even, politicians seemingly sat back on their haunches doing nothing. We thought that was bad. Really bad. We had no idea that any proposal aside from nothing could possibly be worse. We were wrong.

President Donald Trump, Who Thinks Homelessness Is a Phenomenon that Started Two Years Ago, Now Believes He is the Most Qualified Candidate to Take Action Regarding Homelessness in California (Of Which Skid Row is a Part)

In his latest barrage of shocking proposals, President Donald Trump, who openly admits that he just discovered homelessness, now threatens to “take action” to “take the people and do something”, a notion that is much more terrifying than it sounds. Like many previous presidential propositions, at first glance, this threat could be mistaken as a genuine offer to help. However, there is a distinct difference between threatening to act and offering to help. The 2016-2019 presidency stands as a testament to that if nothing else.

In order to understand the sinister underlying of such a seemingly innocent statement, we must understand what taking action translates to for Pres. Trump in 2019. Below is a list of other “problems” he discovered and “actions” he thought would resolve the issues.

1) The Problem: Immigration, a multi-faceted issue that starts at the border but certainly doesn’t end there.

The Action: Creating modern concentration camps, torturing, caging, and murdering children, spreading communicable disease, splurging an approximated $8.6 billion on a border wall that he initially claimed Mexico would pay for, and ruining acres upon acres of Indigenous People’s land in the process.

2) The Problem: Spiraling economy as a result of stagnant wages, yet another complex issue threatening the livelihood of American citizens everywhere.

The Action: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which saved big companies billions of dollars in taxes that they were then supposed to spend on raising salaries. In reality, these large corporations spent over $1 trillion purchasing stock buybacks while inflation and rent increases continued to stamp out the ever-shrinking middle class.

3) The Problem: Climate change, an urgent crisis that has literally set the world on fire.

The Action: Pres. Trump proposes postponing the disuse of coal-fired power plants, a blueprint that Harvard researchers state “will make matters worse than if he did nothing at all.” Therein lies a very important position that will come up later on in this article.

It’s Clear That Pres. Trump’s Actions Often Have Adverse Effects. But Where Does He Stand on the Homelessness Crisis?

“There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing.”

~Philip Alston, United Nations, commenting on the state of homelessness in America.

In case you harbored hopes that Pres. Trump felt differently about the homeless community, that maybe this time he really intended to fix things, think again. While it’s public knowledge that lack of affordable housing is the leading cause of homelessness, Pres. Trump has proposed drastic HUD cuts four years in a row. His most recent proposal would decrease HUD funding by an astonishing 22%. Under the new plan, the Public Housing Capital Fund would be altogether eliminated. The Public Housing Operating Fund would lose 38% of its financial support.

Additionally, the current president of the United States supports statutes that could increase evictions while tripling the rents of 100,000 low-income subsidized residents. Now he aims to criminalize the people affected by these budget cuts if they resist entering his “government-backed” facilities … which are really concentration camps.

Government-Backed Facilities at a Glance

The horrors between the walls of the new legal concentration camps for migrant children are not to be taken lightly. At the border, children seeking asylum are violently separated from their parents. They are then forced to endure conditions that rival Rikers Island in cruelty. Some of the most rattling images include:

  • Children in cages sleeping on cold, hard floors
  • Hundreds of children crammed into each cage
  • Inadequate food and water supplies
  • Infants with no diapers standing in puddles of their own urine
  • Teens without feminine products dripping menstrual blood on the floor
  • Outbreaks of illness
  • Children taking care of other children
  • Lice and insect infestations
  • Death in the absence of their loved ones

If this is the way the Trump administration believes children should be treated, we must assume that homeless people will be exposed to even harsher conditions. As it stands, many homeless shelters already exhibit some of the horrors on the above list. But there is a striking difference between shelters and these government-backed facilities:

Money.

In the words of Esquire Magazine, “Housing Migrants is a For-Profit Business.” So while taxpayers are being charged a rate of approximately $775 per child per day, others are raking in profit off of infant misery.

Is it unfair to suggest that somebody got this thought into their head: Why stop at children when we can do the same or worse to homeless people?

This is a rebirth of the debtors’ prisons and one more fatal blow to our national freedoms.

Why People Are Supporting the Decision

Harmful narratives about who homeless people really are have fueled a growing opposition to the homeless population. The media has deceived the public into believing that most homeless people are violent, drug addicts, mentally ill, and/or lazy people who simply choose to live on the street. Study after study disproves all of the aforementioned statements. Yet Twitter is abuzz with a myriad of comments like this one, taken directly from one unnamed, random profile:

“There is nothing to shudder. The people of San Francisco will welcome the Donald if he can remove all druggies, crazies, criminals from the streets and confine them in government facilities…”

Yes, the most uncaring individuals simply want to see the homeless community confined because they have assumed the worst about their fellow human beings. However, there is another group supporting Pres. Trump’s effort for a more humane reason – the idea that at least he’s doing something.

This “Action” Stems from Our Inaction

Year after year, speech after speech, the homeless population is skipped over and ignored by politicians and everyday members of society alike. Plans and proposals to rectify the situation are few and far between. Homelessness continues to grow, as does the embrace of anybody who is willing to do anything about it. Here, we must refer to the previous statement provided by Harvard researchers where they mentioned that Pres. Trump’s climate change proposal “will make matters worse than if he did nothing at all.” While difficult to believe, something isn’t always better than nothing.

Imagine the following scenario…

You’re walking through a crowded subway when your vision suddenly goes blurry. You realize you dropped a contact lens. Frantically, you fall to the ground scouring every inch of cold concrete in search of your missing lens. The look on your face combined with your erratic actions shows everyone in the subway station that you are distressed. Yet, they hurry past, ignoring you, doing nothing at all to help. Except for one person.

This one person spots you and stoops down, realizing your eye is causing the distress. In one fluid motion, they rip your eyeball right out of the socket with a rusty spoon. It could easily be argued that this action took your situation from bad to worse, that it was certainly worse than the people who shuffled past, simply doing nothing. But to hurried subway riders who secretly felt inconvenienced by the fact that you were crawling around on the floor, the person wielding that rusty spoon is a great big hero.

The fact that you’re now in a hospital leaking from the socket where your eye was once positioned means you’re no longer in the subway station, making them look like bad people for ignoring you. They don’t have to waste time wondering what you were so upset about. They don’t have to risk missing their train by spending a moment showing compassion to a complete stranger. Since you’re no longer in their line of vision, you and your problem no longer exist in their minds. You have been removed, creating the illusion that you don’t exist at all.

This is what sweeps do.

This is what concentration camps do.

From a historical standpoint, this is what tyrants do.

And is that who we’ve become? Are we all just passengers waiting for the next train conductor to tell us which bandwagon to jump on? Pointing us to in the direction of trending hashtags? That we may follow blindly? That we may fall between the cracks? This threat of action could only be considered in a world where inaction has become the norm.

Why Harrowed History Repeats Itself

In a nation priding itself on free speech and free press, there is a deafening collective of silence taking over. America stands, a ghost town of abandoned Walmart buildings stained by the blood of slaughtered 7-year olds. With dreamers caged and searchers censored, it’s beginning to look like our next chapter will be taken directly from the most violent etchings of our past. For it is a sad day when the most courageous among us have forsaken a word of justice in favor of an ineffective pregnant pause.

In trying times, we must remember that silence is not always synonymous with peace.

Why does harrowed history repeat itself? Perhaps because for every person refusing to move forward there will always be someone more than willing to move backwards.

It is unclear which era this president is attempting to recreate. Is it the ‘50s? Because segregation has returned to public schools and hate crimes have reached an all-time high. Is it the 20s? Because today’s police brutality can only be likened to that of Jim Crow. Is it the 1700s-1800s? Because slave labor, kidnapping, and human trafficking have skyrocketed. Is it the 1400s? Because the Indigenous population is polarized by mass murder and displacement.

The only thing that’s certain is that 50 years ago, the USA became the first nation to put a man on the moon. Today we cannot achieve the simple task of putting a man in a house.

Government-backed facilities are not houses. They are for-profit concentration camps for people who cannot afford houses.

Please contact your local representatives and tell them you expect to see #housesnotcages for the homeless community in California and all across the nation.


Cynthia Griffith

Cynthia Griffith

     

Cynthia Griffith is a freelance writer dedicated to social justice and environmental issues.

Related Topics



Get the Invisible People newsletter


RECENT STORIES

Homeless man sitting on sidewalk near Skid Row Los Angeles

Prince

homeless woman in Grants Pass

Amber

Police Force Homeless Man To Relocate Twice In 24 Hours

Mississippi

80-year-old Woman Homeless in Sad Diego

Miss Katie


RECENT ARTICLES

street homelessness in California - homeless people more likely to end up back on the streets rather than permanent housing after interim housing programs

Audits Expose Failure of California’s Interim Housing Programs

Seattle Serial Killer targeting homeless people

Seattle Serial Killer Brutally Targets Homeless Victims

Increased homeownership could be on the horizon with proposed plan from President Biden

Biden Proposes Homeownership Plan as Affordability Hits All-Time Low

homelessness in wealthy American cities

Homelessness is Rampant in America’s Wealthiest Cities

Get the Invisible People newsletter