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  • #11
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    At one time in my life, my own stupidity, forced me to live on the streets for an extended period of time. First I lived in my last real possession, a dodge Dakota I bought while I was in the Army.

    After a few months I met a lady at the bar I was washing dishes at and she (and husband...nothing sexual) agreed to let me stay in their detached single car garage if I helped around the house.

    Thanks to their kindness I was able to finish collage and join the upper middle class where now I own my own home and have my own family.

    My point is
    1) Without shelter the street even for a short time can kill you.

    2) You don't want it to nice of a place or people's natural inclination is to get comfortable.

    As great as the family who saved me was....the garage still smelled like grass clippings and gasoline from thevold tractor he stored outside (it was displaced for me) under a tarp.

    Helping hand up = GOOD

    Hand outs = SLAVERY

    IMHO
  • #53
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    @kirbstomp1 it depends on the situation.. in crays he worked for it.. it wasn't given to him without him working for it in some way. Now if its given & one does nothing for it that would be a handout... I was taught that if you work for something it means more 2 you.. if its given it means nothing 2 you..
  • #59
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    @kirbstomp1

    To me a helping hand is/was being given the opportunity to work my way out of the mess I was in.

    A hand out again to me...is something someone can come to depend on BUT doesn't allow away for the person to work thier way out of the mess they are in.

    Again, this us just my opinion. A temporary place to stay tgat allows the person to save up some resources and/or gain skills to move foward in life is a helping hand.

    Providing cash which can be spent on anything can become a chain....as I will start to think of the money as mine (because I aman American for a possible example) This leads to a sence of entitlement. This is a hand out.

    For many people, like myself, poor choices led me to where I was. I understand it isn't that way for everyone. But handing me money wouldn't have done me as much good as the opportunity that Mr. and Mrs. T gave me.
  • #62
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    @freaky6smurf

    I totally agree. At that time in my life ifvyou would have seen me and felt bad enough to give me $500 bucks I would have spent most of it on......(my personal problems).

    It wasn't until I hit rock bottom with myself and two cats living in the car...having to bathe in different restrooms around town....eat out of dumpsters...I found KFC has the best throw aways...keep moving my car wondering when it run out of gas.....so the cops wouldn't harass me and find out my registration was past due....that I realized that this isn't a party ant more....

    Strangely the thoughs of my two cats dying is what kept me from totally lossing/burying myself in my "problem".
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  • #69
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    Many times (but not always) people are responsible for their money problems. Poor choice is typically the cause. BUT I agree blame doesn't do anything and being smug just makes the person look foolish.
  • #73
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    @craythegray

    Among the lower middle classes, most financial problems are caused by lack of education in the basic skills needed to lead a successful life.
    Nobody ever taught them how to budget, and nobody ever taught them that it was important to do that.
    If we educated our kids as we should, payday loan sharks would go out of business, and nobody would ever agree to a 7 year car loan at credit card interest rates.
    But we don't.
    We're too busy not funding schools in order to minimize our taxes.

    Which is why I think so many conservatives are morons.
  • #75
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    @Cincinnatus

    My friend first let me say I have read many of your posts and even know I don't agree always with your view points, you at least seem to take the time to research and truly internalize the information. Folks with this ability make this site enjoyable for me...thank you.

    Now on point.

    I agree with your statement about education. I work in public/charter/private schools up and down the east coast and have done so in and out of the classroom for the past three major policy changes on education. I have personally been in schools and have worked to turn failing/failed schools into successful schools both in urban and rural settings.

    We may have to disagree about the cause of lack of basic financial skills though we do agree through education we might help some students avoid future financial problems. In my personal experience in my thousands of hours in classroom/schools working with middle and high schoolers I have seen several trends and I will offer you a few reasons that I believe our the culprit to this lack.(I will order them by culpability.)

    1) Distractions- drugs and sex. Or lack of drive/hope.

    2) The drive for status through the acquisition of personal belongings

    3) Changing educational climate that has made basic budgeting skills a dead topic coupled with a lack of family/parental guidance on financial matters.

    4)The young's feeling of immortality...which can be applied to their borrowing/spending habits.

    5) Predatory leading practises
  • #86
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    @craythegray

    As a retired teacher, I found that things seemed to go better when the implicit assumption was success, and not failure.

    The lack of curriculum dealing with personal finance and efficient living is mostly due to underfunding, and to the fact that we are turning our schools into nothing more than job training centers.
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  • #28
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    It sounds very Fifth Element, for the parking space ones.

    Other than that it sounds like a great idea and should cost less per person. Now if we can get them to do work also, as a plan to get them moved up, like some sort of internship or apprenticeship that would be even better.
  • #3
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    It sounds good on paper. A small home for homeless people, pushed together in a community of homeless people with shared kitchens and bathrooms.

    What I wonder though, is why, with all the empty and abandoned houses just falling into disrepair all over the country, would the state spends millions on new mini-shelters for the homeless, instead of just utilizing what is already available?
  • #21
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    That is an excellent point, and a great deal more thinking needs to go into this idea. But here is my take: usually, the homeless are also jobless, so who is going to pay for heat in these places? I'm thinking the brand new smaller place will be more energy efficient as opposed to those larger and frequently non insulated older homes. Communal kitchens? Where will the food come from, and who cooks and cleans up? I doubt there will be a glut of volunteers for those chores, ditto cleaning those communal bathrooms.
  • #40
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    @Realthinker Who will pay. Many of the homeless get a "paycheck" but can not afford the rent. In some areas, that rent to move in can be $3000-6000 just to move in. Though not all get paid, many do.
  • #80
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    these mini homes are self contained whereas abandoned homes and buildings would probably cost a fortune to get up to code.
  • #81
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    @Realthinker

    many homeless are eligible for assistance, often VA benefits, but they can't get these benefits without an address. As far as heat, I'm pretty sure these units have no heat.
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  • #6
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    Getting the homeless into even a very small home has no downside and unimaginable upside. Just the added stability and safety would give these people a chance to find work. The $5000 investment probably saves the city money both in the short run and long run.
  • #61
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    A few months back there was a thread on Utah and Wyoming, perhaps the two most conservative states in the union, getting the homeless off the streets and into some sort of shelter. No bleeding hearts there, they found it was simply cheaper than having them get sick and showing up in the ER of the public hospital. And of course you mention the added benefit to everyone of halting their deterioration and letting them get gussied up enough for employment.
  • #77
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    @RoyFloyd
    I have always wondered why no one has tried to set up work camps. Completely voluntary of course. A place where someone can go for shelter, a shower, food , medical care, and employment. We could grow more food for subsidies or recycle clothes for the poor.
  • #91
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    You're right, my question is how much would the city (or whoever) have to pay to treat a case of frostbite in the winter? That vs the cost of a micro house, it adds up.:)
  • #111
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    @JIMBO56
    It also makes more sense to actually help the poor. I don't see that giving money really helps except to avoid responsibility. Sort of the same concept as "teaching" someone to fish. I do this driving truck to find out who really needs the money and who is trying to play me. I never refuse to help. But in return I always offer some kind of chore to do. Like sweeping the trailer, picking up trash in the truck lot, washing windshields, exc...
    This way they get more than $1 (which can't even get a burger now days), and its earned money that no one can tell them how to spend.
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  • #31
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    @PNWest Yeah, it is pretty cool.
    I read you need lessons on your Bob Villa skills.
    Maybe I need to come out to Central Oregon and teach you. I can frame, plumb, electric, concrete, brick, install flooring, paint, landscape. My nickname here is Bob Villa Jr.
  • #33
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    @stepped_in_it I'd love to learn. I'm old, lazy and cheap but the cheap overcomes the other two characteristics. I love learning how to do stuff around the house. So far I've learned a bit about framing walls and running electrical, repairing lawnmowers, cleaning skylights, trimming and cutting down trees and refinishing decks. This is a great part of the world to live in and I find that living in a rural area you keep busy with physical activities all year round. As you can tell from my numerous posts I'd sit in front of the computer all day if I could. Living here means I get up and do things which is probably healthy (as long as I don't fall off the roof).
  • #36
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    @PNWest Sounds like you already have some skills. I understand that "cheap" part. The reason I learned all the above skills. I like the rural area also (since I spent the first 36 years of my life in LA area). The only thing I don't like (as I got OLDer) is the cold winters. That's the Cali surfer in me.
    And I hate roofing and tree trimming. Not afraid of heights or falling. I'm afraid of the landings...
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  • #74
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    My take is that people don't take care of what they don't pay for and unfortunately I suspect these micro houses would be trashed in short order.
  • #45
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    But hey, the GDP was up by .1% this past quarter and unemployment numbers were up to 344000 new applications. I always wondered how they always have even numbers, , rounded to the thousands, in these figures. Smh
  • #60
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    Jobs would indeed be a good solution for living, and an even better solution are jobs that actually pay....a living. Not all of them do.
  • #82
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    yes jobs would be a good solution. Golly, why didn't I think of that. I think we should order up a couple a million of them.
  • #110
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    @JoJoViolet
    Be sarcastic all you like but there are solutions. Remember obama's shovel ready projects that in fact were 100% BS?
    Well there are other places that understand how to do this. Like for instance, these houses can be part of pay for services rendered like cleaning up the parks, the streets, etc. No skills needed to push a broom and the people actually earn what they are given.
    How about we try something like that or is that to far out for you?
  • #162
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    @URBS All depends on how you brand it. Might call it labor as a requirement for welfare benefits, which would probably be enthusiastically supported by modern conservatives. OTOH, if you call it a government jobs program, they'll go apoplectic even though the two amount to the same thing.
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  • #16
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    I've never been homeless, I've never been unemployed so long that I felt necessary to live on the streets. That being said, I don't know the needs of the homeless. But I would imagine this could be a good idea, if the city can offset the prices somehow. I don't believe in handouts, but I'm not comfortable with people freezing to death or dying of heat stroke.
  • #13
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    Here's the problem that has a probability of happening.....people staying in poverty.....getting comfortable in housing as this and the government even encouraging this because it might actually save energy.....in fact.....say in 25 years the government starts to mandate through taxes and other oppressive laws that everyone has to own these houses.....this is the governments way of putting the peasants in their place and progressive liberals feeling like they are doing some good.....without actually addressing the actual problems.....
  • #25
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    @stepped_in_it Yup.....we'll all be living in little huts before long while Al Gore, President Hussein Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others like them will be in palaces.....but it will all be for our good.....
  • #29
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    @Knightkore Though I'm not a big fan, I recently saw The Hunger Games (both of them).
    12 districts of workers and a rich area.......it did sound familiar.
  • #5
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    I think these guys are trying to build them for low cost housing in urban areas but the whole concept is something that the old hippies, environmentalist and some survivalist types are getting in to. A lot of times people build these things out of salvaged materials. I think this is mostly a rural phenomenon right now. You see a lot of these things with wheels because most countries won't let you build a 300 SqFt House but will allow you you build a trailer.
  • #10
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    @Vance1 Personally I think it's a pretty cool idea. If I was handier I might try building one of these just for giggles.
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  • #190
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    Too many problems associated with this idea as with all public housing feel good wrong headed ideas.
    Who will pay for the utilities? Who will pay for and provide the upkeep, etc. etc.
  • #140
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    Well its an ok idea for a select few, but the main homeless population NO. Having a house is not what the main problem is....if you research it a large percentage of homeless are mentally ill. No one stands up and says "hey we need more mental health facilities, hey we need mental health communities"

    Why stick a Band-Aid on a huge bleed? I use to live in a small town and we had like 1 homeless guy who often slept in a small tent on a small plot of land even in dead winter....so the churches and townies got together and bought him 1 of what turned into about 5 small little out building type of houses...sort of like these...Why 5 you say? Because he had mental issues and he would always set his house on fire and burn it to a crisp!!!!!!!! After the 5th one.....they gave up.

    See they only used a Band-Aid.....Mentally ill need structure, meds, therapy, and access to good habit forming repetitive living. Purpose.....
  • #136
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    I think it's good but no bathroom, that's a problem! Anyway, why can't they use old containers. I believe they are cheaper thant $5000 and bigger.
  • #121
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    I like the idea, but I wonder where they will put these homes. It will be a pleasant surprise if locals embrace the idea, but I suspect there will be a lot of "not in my back yard" arguments.
  • #116
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    No... that is what is already happening because both sides work for rich corporations that want to keep their big profits and corporate welfare rolling in. The right wingers are just worse because they can't even let up a little and raise the minimum wage because they are afraid it will hurt theirs and their buddies stock portfolio if they pay a living wage and the sad part is the stupid people who keep voting republican.
  • #144
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    @Darkdreamer
    My town, entry level firefighters make 56,500 annually.
    A salary of $56,500 equates to a monthly pay of $4,708, weekly pay of $1,087, and an hourly wage of $27.16.

    $27.16 pr hour -$10.10 =$17.06
    Not to mention the firefighter will be paying taxes.

    Now, do you think a fry bagger should make more than a third of a firefighter, who has an associates degree and graduated academy, not to mention putting their lives on the line?

    What you fail to understand is as long as the government interferes then standards of wages will always be low as well as quality of employees. Compare Costco and Walmart. Costco attracts good employees who want to keep their jobs. Walmart hires the bottom and has a turnover that they are finally finding are costing them billions.
    Government has interfered with our educations, buying our houses, are cars (GM/EPA), our medical, almost every aspect of our lives and you want to lob partisan volleys. Costco has the business model.
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  • #51
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    There's plenty of wooded rural areas in this country where all of America's homeless could chop down a few trees and build themselves a nice home. The Pacific Northwest would be ideal for this kind of a project.
  • #70
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    I want to believe you are being funny...and if you were...it was a good joke.

    BUT the reality of homelessness is that many homeless do not have house building skills...are often currently addicted to a chemical and/or trying to get clean....and have children.

    Have you ever tried to do anything in with severe withdrawal symptoms....I would imagine the sound of a nail being pounded in would hurt bad enough to make you pass out....and right angles would be difficult to measure with the shakes.
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