Cheech relocated to Austin to try and jumpstart his career as a chef. Because he was homeless with mental and physical disabilities, he wasn’t able to maintain employment. Cheech has homeless in Austin, Texas now for four years.
I honestly could sit and listen to Cheech all day long. He is brilliant and very knowledgeable about homelessness and the social services system. Because of his disability, Cheech is getting Social Security; however, that is not enough to pay for rent. When I asked him about qualifying for housing, he responded that a lot of people are getting housing, but there are still a lot of people that have been homeless for years not getting housed.
During my stay in Austin, I met one man who was outside for 34 years and several others homeless for 20 years and 10 years. In many cities, homeless services are doing better than they ever have but because of the affordable housing crisis, more people are entering into homelessness than they are able to get out of homelessness.
Cheech shared something that is so profound that it blew me away. He went on to forecast how a rich man, a cop, and a minimum wage worker would be treated by other homeless people when they ended up on the streets. Cheech’s prophesy I believe is spot on. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.