Last week, the White House Council on Economic Advisors released a report on homelessness in America. I use the word “report” loosely, in that the document, as the National Low Income Housing Coalition euphemistically describes it, “combines cherry-picked data, faulty analysis and wildly inaccurate diagnosing of both the problem and its solutions. In addition to getting the fundamentals of homelessness wrong, their policy prescriptions completely miss the mark. Deregulation, increased policing and greater ‘self-sufficiency’ won’t end homelessness–affordable homes, and the federal subsidies that make them possible, will.”
This report was troubling enough. That its rollout coincided with derogatory rhetoric from the White House about people experiencing homelessness, and derogatory rhetoric from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development about transgender people, makes it all the more troubling.
At the Human Service Chamber, we proudly represent several agencies that serve people experiencing homelessness, as well as people that are transgender. These agencies, including Equitas Health, Homeless Family Foundation, Huckleberry House, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Netcare Access, Star House, YMCA of Central Ohio, and YWCA Columbus, all treat the people they serve with dignity and respect.
Proposals that criminalize, and rhetoric that dehumanizes, is unacceptable. It makes the work our agencies do that much harder. And that much more important.
We very proudly stand against such incivility, and with the very people our agencies serve.