Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Home and Housing



A house does not make a home.

"Home" usually involves a state of mind resulting from lots of other factors.

You know, stuff like love, relationships, meaning and purpose in life and hope.

Lots of single people enjoy the benefits of "home," even though they spend many hours daily alone.

Sadly, many large families share housing, but have no sense of being "at home."

Admitting all of this, I still need to recognize the fact that it is hard to arrive at "home" if you don't have a house!

Recently, I read a story about the growing number of people, many with children, who live in their cars because they have no permanent housing.

Most of these folks find themselves temporarily without a roof over their heads. Forced to spend the night in their cars, they find all sorts of ingenious ways to remain "at home" in their cars without being detected by friends, work associates or authorities.

Amazing.

The same story reported on a national study that found a person earning minimum wage ($5.15 an hour) and working full-time could not afford a one-bedroom apartment at market rates in any city in the United States.

Amazing.

While "home" is not about housing only, it must be the case that without the basics in housing it will be very, very difficult to maintain any real sense of "home" for long.

Most of us, myself included, would do well to think about these facts of life in the U. S. A. as we come and go from our houses.

You'd think we could do better by one another than this.

3 comments:

Charles Senteio said...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


So how does this statement fit in with a wage policy that results in a full time worker who can’t afford an apartment without assistance? If I didn’t know better I would assume that the statement above just couldn’t apply to a country where that policy exists.

Anonymous said...

According to the latest Census statistics, nearly 70 percent of Americans now own their homes. But most of the gains have been among families without children and upper-income families with children. Low- to moderate-income working families with children are less likely to be homeowners now than they were in the late 1970s.

The last federal legislation raised the minimum wage by 90 cents from $4.25 to $5.15. That was 10 years ago, in 1996.

How is it possible for anyone earning an annualized minimum wage of $10,712 to afford housing without being subsidized? I'm trying to understand why self-proclaimed Christians who also hold elected office are not outraged.

Janet said...

What really bothers me is that while the lowest income people's wages are barely increasing, the people at the top are increasing at light speed. Yet, I hear people saying that if we give people a "living wage" then prices will increase for all of us. So, while we pay someone $15.00/hour, we all suffer consequences...meanwhile, those making $7 million/year keep increasing their salaries???? It doesn't make sense to me.

The New York Times had an article on this. Somewhat lengthy, but very worth reading. I'm not sure how to make this link active....

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/business/businessspecial/09pay.html?ex=1145246400&en=a5845e4bfa1d40a8&ei=5070&emc=eta1