Change and Fix Homelessness

Change and Fix Homelessness

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Zachary Jarvis started this petition to State Representatives

Abstract: Homelessness affects many communities in Oregon, specifically very dense areas such as the Portland metro area. My proposal is to stop funding shelters and use that money to build modified small houses for homeless people. By signing you would help me gain support to make this happen and fix the homeless crisis.

 

According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, on any given night it is estimated 14,476 people sleep homeless on the streets, parks, buildings or wherever they can in order to survive. Out of that 1,100 were families and 1,300 were veterans who risked their lives for the country. Homelessness is a huge issue across the country and affects communities a lot.  We need to fix this issue because this issue affects the thousands of homeless in ways such as quality of life, sickness, violence, mental health and increased risk of dying, they are treated unfairly, and the problem keeps growing and will become harder to solve as it goes unsolved.


The challenges of being homeless is very grueling and many people cannot picture themselves being able to survive in their situation. Often times they face the challenging weather of the Pacific Northwest, sickness from being outside without access to medicine or clean essentials(water, bathrooms, living areas), mental health, and violence. Many times they do whatever they can to survive whether that is panhandling on the streets or camping under a bridge to avoid the rain.


Another reason why we should fix this problem is because many people have stereotypes about homelessness. Many people are scared of homeless because they think they are criminals but according to Prebble Street: Myths about the homeless, they are more likely to become victims of crime, especially hate speech and violence. Stereotypes such as this prevent people from wanting to help and fix this issue because they often feel unsafe or think that they are lazy people who abuse the government welfare system.


The problem goes unsolved for years and it continues to grow. If a problem grows and it does not go unsolved then it would be harder to fix the issue as there will be more homeless population and more needed resources. If it goes unfixed then more homeless people will appear and people will feel unsafe in communities and more people will face the challenges they have to in order to survive.


My solution on this problem is a program to take money used to fund shelters and go into building a set number of small individual shelters a year for the homeless so that they have a place to live. This would solve the problem because you would see homeless less and feel safer, homeless would be able to avoid the harsh conditions of living on the street and there would be less violence against them.


One of the designs that I think would be cost efficient and effective would be a modified shipping container home. According to Giant Containers, the average cost to get a homeless person off the street is $50,000 while we can house 50 homeless people with that money in shipping container houses. The benefits to this is that it can end the cycle of sickness that homeless people often face.


The funding would come from city provided homeless shelters. According to NPR “Why Some Homeless Choose The Streets Over Shelters,” they opinionated homeless people on their thoughts on shelters and they all said that the conditions are bad in shelters such as getting your stuff stolen, bed bugs and body lice, drug dealers and that is why a lot of homeless would rather sleep on the streets. And while these things are bad, shelters don’t do much because they serve as a short term solution to the problem compared to a long term solution of giving them an individual shelter/home to stay in indefinitely until they want to move out.


The average cost predicted for building one of the shipping container shelters would be as follows:


$2,300 for container 20ft (Cost)

$350 for misc costs such as a door, paint, bed

$100 for labor costs

$2,750 total cost.


$2,750 * 14,500(homeless population in Oregon) = $4,000,000

$4,000,000/4,191,000(Oregon Population)= <$1 per person to fund this.

Beaverton School District spent $186,000.000 on a new school and it costs $2,250 a month to house a family in a portland shelter(OPB).


The steps I plan to take to make my civic action happen is to first start off with making a website. My reasoning behind this is because a website would allow people who are interested to view and read in full detail what this proposed civic action includes. It would be a basis of operation and will also have information and stats to encourage/convince people to help support this. My Second civic action will be to send a letter to the Oregon Legislative branch representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer. The letter would state my plans for a small scale test here in Beaverton to see if modifying this policy would work and be beneficial in solving the homeless problem in Oregon. My third action would be to use social media because many people are using social media every day and if I could get my idea to go viral then it would be easy to spread word and gain support and make it onto the public agenda.


The people who would be for this proposal would be the homeless, many residents in Portland who see this issue everyday, and politicians as it is a big problem across the nation that people want solutions for. People who might oppose this are people who don’t live in Portland or have not seen this issue often such as upper class and more rural living people.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
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