The Pursuit of Privacy
I’m not spoiled, but privacy is a life essential.
Epidemiology, as in public health and safety, dictates appropriate sanitary conditions for the safety of self and society. Each family is unique and has needs that will not withstand the imposition of others outside of their nuclear group. They can range from frequency of use and specific medical conditions to intellectual and physical disabilities.
But the decision on the part of the D.C. City Council to no longer mandate that families be housed in “apartment-style” shelter (with private bathrooms) is [merely?] a cost-saving measure. With dorm-style shelters, fewer bathrooms need be built per structure. The lack of private bathrooms, however, will chronically exacerbate the families’ already tenuous well-being.
You cannot fix one problem – i.e., by closing the despicable D.C. General complex – then move to a temporary situation that only chronically exacerbates these families’ problems in other ways, in the name of lack of money.
The fact that it does not fit into the budget is no excuse to change the law to accommodate political and fiscal maneuvering. Find the money. If you need a clue, let me suggest reviewing the costs of other services we all have to pay for when intervention occurs: the emergency room, D.C. mental health access, the police, the D.C. courts, social services and other self-help entities. Prevention and common sense is what is needed. We automatically spend less and save more. Society is about human beings, not CPA-certified accounting audits and banking.
Dormitory-style shared bathrooms for temporary transitional housing for the unsheltered, house-less, homeless disconnected community is egregiously lacking common sense. The Washington Legal Clinic, the Fair Budget Coalition and other advocates are to be lauded for their efforts in standing up and fighting for the life and wholesome welfare of our citizens and residents. It is hoped that there will be an appeal and a redress to this thinking and action.
We recognize that our new mayor has dynamically risen to the occasion in listening to the voters and some of our most affected communities. We say, YOU CAN END HOMELESSNESS!
Let us also check on the actual available rental units, abandoned houses that can be refurbished and real estate resources that can be developed into short-term and long-term decent, reusable housing. We must remember that homelessness is not a disease, but an occurrence that can happen to anybody, at any time in life. This is an issue, as people, we can do a lot better in addressing and resolving.
However, we must work together across the socioeconomic span, the “all 8 ward” of our great city. And yes, we should set the example for the rest of the country. Let us find the money, make the sacrifice and put human life first. As I have said for years, a healthy nation is a productive, creative, and successful global leader and nation. Fix the plan. This is our America, our city. And Madam Mayor, YOU CAN DO IT.