29 June 2004

poverty where i live

ok, where my family lives. but i know st. cloud well these days; i've seen landon house. i'm utterly shocked that conservatives would claim that overcrowded, crumbling shelters are "too attractive" and welcoming, or that shelters are abetting the problem of homelessness.

i ALSO can't believe that i once applied for a research job at the wilder center, which conducts minnesota's homelessness survey every three years. these people are clearly not doing the best of science. one researcher claims that "these people are not like you and me," implying that poor people's higher rates of chronic illness and drug addiction are somehow causing their poverty.

does anyone in the media, publishing such quotes alongside the evidence of declining real wages and ever-increasing rents, ever stop to think about the missing variables (i.e., the ones describing endemic economic injustice perpetrated by "welfare reformers" and corporations) in studies like that conducted by the wilder center?

apparently not. shelters themselves are mere band-aids; overcrowding at shelters is a symptom of a much larger problem. shelters can't solve that problem, and shelters can't cause it, and it is demeaning to everyone in the shelter system to suggest otherwise.