Circa 1950. Korean war veterans are returning home and need a place to stay. So does everybody else.
Enter the Levitt brothers who create the first planned community, the prototype of the suburbs. People who otherwise could not afford a home could now own one.
Back then, to buy a home you didn’t have to go through all the rigamarole you do today.
In the early 90’s, I bought a house in Levittown, PA, the second Levittown community. Even as a veteran, I had to go through a lot of red tape. Although there was no down payment, I still had to cough up money for points. And there was proof of income and other required hassles.
I was working at the time and it took me so long to round up the required documents that I had to start over to get “current” information. Too much monkey business!
Finally I got through all the hoops and moved into the Levittown house.
Most of the hoops you have to jump through to get a house, or even an apartment today is a result of laws created by a progressive government, a far cry from the way things were back in the 50’s.
You’re probably thinking “there you go again, Jeff, praising the 50’s”. Well, the 50’s, like God, is worthy of praise. Things were better back then because our country had a Christian consensus.
When I shared the idea to have the homeless settle on already established, vacant property, including land administered by the Bucks County, PA government, with County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia, she poo-pooed the idea. She reasoned that this would jeopardize the opportunity people out in the streets have to find a place through government sponsored housing.
Recently, the Bucks County Commissioners are on a mission to remove homeless people from an area in the woods in a Bucks County Park. Druggies have precipitated complaints. Syringes have been found. Recently, a druggie who overdosed had to be taken out of the woods to emergency.
The explosion of recovery houses in Levittown has contributed to much of the problem. There are now 93 of these places in Levittown alone, where according to a report in the Bucks County Courier Times, people running the houses are not adequately trained to help the addicts. Of the 93, in the past two months, 21 recovery houses have been added to this infestation.
Refugees from the drug houses have fled into the woods and have created problems for those who basically, out of necessity, need a place to go. The druggies have trashed the place out and steal.
I just received an email from Steve Long, Chief Bucks County ranger. He listed the problems in the woods and added that there are people wanted by the law back there and emphasized that the county is offering places for the homeless to stay.
“The Commissioners have stressed to me that the highest priority must be given to getting assistance to those in need”, Steve related.
“Warnings” were distributed throughout the woods, with housing listings.
The problem is that, except for the Penndel Mental Health Center, the homeless will have a long wait to get housing. So they basically have a choice between this nut house, which, as I’ve related in earlier blogs, is no help and the street in many cases. Even if you don’t take the same view of Penndel as I do, people should at least have a choice.
For addictions, where people live, there is only one other choice I can think of off hand. And this, like the overflowing shelter in Levittown, PA, is only temporary.
But what about the people without addictions — who have fallen on hard economic times and just need a place to stay? People who don’t have huge problems and don’t cause big problems. Hummmmm?
To this end, the government is doing a lousy job. The liberal establishment continues to push the same failed policies over and over again with the same results, expecting a different result. This is the definition of insanity.
As President Ronald Reagan said, government isn’t the solution to the problem; government is the problem.
This is where the private sector comes in.
Shortly after I moved to Levittown I met a guy who had worked for the Levitt brothers. He said that he worked very hard, but that he was well paid.
The problem today, as one statesman said, is that there are too many people in the wagon but not enough people pulling the wagon. The nearby Fairless Hills steel plant buckled under because the union sucked the business dry. Too many folks were sitting on their ass-sets in the wagon, not pulling their own weight.
Today’s economy, which created more homelessness is in part a result of people not doing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. The system that drives the get something for nothing philosophy hurts the economy, and unlike the work ethic during the 50’s when the Levittown communities were built, people have a harder time making ends meet and become homeless.
Government failure is partly to blame for economic downturn with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to a column from The Cato Institute. http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/collapse-fannie-mae-freddie-mac
Another factor that impedes progress for resolving the homeless problem is hobophobia. For those of you in Doylestown, the urban dictionary defines hobophobia: “The extreme and utter fear of hobos, or the homeless. This is usually caused by the lack of exposure to the homeless throughout the world. A dose of homelessness is an easy cure to hobophobia.”
Recently, someone told me that a plan to fix up a vacant building in her neighborhood for the homeless was thwarted as a result of an outcry from people who didn’t want homeless people in their neighborhood. It’s the recovery houses that bring problems, not the average homeless person.
As I’ve said before, the homeless are treated like blacks in the Jim Crow south, when the Democrats reigned. Today Dems continue the discrimination, only against the homeless in places such as Bucks County, PA.
The homeless need people to speak up for them to create an honest, sober appraisal of who they are — to tell it like it is!
People should be judged not by the status of their residency, but by the content of their character.
We shall overcome!