Is There Hope in A Hooverville?

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Because the government got increasingly more involved in people’s lives during the 1920s and 30s, homelessness increased. We the people turned our decisions over to big government, especially during the reign of Presidents Herbert Hoover and FDR.  

In fact, homeless camps, shanty towns that started cropping up by 1930 were called “Hoovervilles”. Give credit where credit is do. Homelessness started cropping up before the Great Depression, but mushroomed during the 30s, growing during the term of President FDR.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooverville 

Government programs didn’t resolve the homeless problem. Like today, people without a home started building their own dwellings.  They used stone, wood from crates, cardboard, scraps of metal – anything they could find.  In D.C, a group of veterans whose VA benefits were delayed, created a Hooverville in 1932. They had hopped trains and came from far away. At one point the government tore the homeless camp down, where up to 15,000 people lived.   

In 1930 in St. Louis, Mo, the largest Hooverville was created through private philanthropy. This racially integrated community had an unofficial major, churches, and other social institutions. In 1936, the Works Progress Administration, an agency of FDR’s New Raw Deal, allocated funds for “slum clearance” with the idea that the government would provide housing for the homeless. 

Today in Bucks County, PA, county government thinks it would resolve the problem through assisted housing. A few years back I pitched my idea to Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia, who is running for reelection in November, that county public land be set aside to create a homeless village, similar to the St. Louis camp and the more recent Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity_Village 

The commissioner poo-pooed the idea. She said that this kind of thing would make the homeless too comfortable and would not want to avoid going into government assisted housing. This philosophy that creates dependency on government was the case championed decades ago, as evident in President LBJ’s alleged Great Society. In A More Perfect Union; What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties, Ben Carson MD writes “…our society is still plagued by people who propose and enforce policies that encourage the descendants of the freedmen to accept a state of social dependency. People in such a state tend to be much easier to manipulate than people who are independent and well educated. Therefore, with a few perks and promises, their votes can be cultivated, creating a significant power base. Manipulative people convince them that others are responsible for their misery and that they should be grateful for the aid being provided by their saviors.” 

It’s everyday people, driven by faith in God, not career politicians, who can create a more perfect union. 

The role of government, everyday people and the church is illustrated in: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok