Creative Solutions for the Homeless




Solutions for the homeless: Build communes, not prisons

We clearly need a president-congress that has the moral fortitude to rein in defense spending that’s out of control in more ways than one can say. With the exception of senators’ Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, there has been little discussion in the debates about cutting defense spending and reinvesting those billions of tax dollars into the restoration of an aging infrastructure.

Some may ask—how will rebuilding our infrastructure help the homeless?  Here are a few ideas that come to mind: we could restore aging hotels and condemned houses in poor urban communities, we could remodel aging cruise and even Navy ships into affordable housing facilities for the homeless instead of letting them waste away or destroying them via demolition.  

Instead of giving most of our federal lands to oil & gas companies, we could build self-efficient communes where there is plenty of land: solar sustainable, one-room houses, nothing fancy, just the basics with a kitchenette and communal showers and toilets.  A thousand of these small homes could be built for less than $500,000 dollars.  And they could be designed to blend with the environment.

Click here to see examples.

Our National Guard could participate in the construction of these small studios. Conditions should be clear that inhabitants must follow certain rules of maintenance: such as cleaning, gardening, planting trees, and growing vegetables.

With a little money and creative ingenuity these problems are not difficult to solve.  Certainly there are challenges. Some homeless individuals need medical assistance. I’m talking about homeless teenagers, and working Americans that need a temporary opportunity to get back on their feet.  Many homeless folks may have important skills; some can do carpentry work, mechanics, gardening, cooking, painting, and artistic crafts. These communes could easily become working organic farms, for example, and the money that they earn would pay for the housing and maintenance. 

That’s what a humane society would do compared to a corporate war society that promotes violence and cold indifference. It would also lift the morale of our soldiers if they were helping to restore dignity and meaning to those who’ve fallen through the cracks instead of conditioning them to hate, kill and torture human beings.