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Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Homeless

The new MetroPulse in online and the feature article is a bit by Joe Tarr about the homeless "problem" in Knoxville. That's an interesting notion, homelessness being a real problem for anyone besides those who are actually homeless. I've heard many people describe K-Town as a magnet for the homeless. To which I feel compelled to respond: God, I hope so.

Interesting/depressing sidenote: This morning on NPR there was a piece (scroll down to: 'Homeless Veteran - Revisited') about a woman who is a U.S. Military veteran and who has been trying for some time to find a home in Boston. It talks about how close she felt to homelessness, and how desperate she was for a place to live. They mentioned a stat: Veterans make up 9% of the total U.S. population, but 28% of the homeless population. What happens in our military that breeds that sort of destiny? What happens back at home that makes it so hard for a vet to find a place to live?

Homelessness seems like it's something more than not having enough vacancies in a housing complex. As a society, we have low-cost housing coming out the butt. There's no lack of wealthy individuals and foundations, even churches, who would be more than willing to give money and labor to provide housing. But it isn't housing, is it?

Why do people become homeless? Why do they piss on parking meters, sleep in doorways, and mutter to themselves when no one else cares what they have to say?

Why are we constantly cutting funding for state-subsidized mental healthcare, reducing the number of state-employed social workers, and making an effort to gloss the homeless guys out of downtown with every renovation proposal? Seriously, why are there no public restrooms on Market Square or Ft. Sanders?
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