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Why Utah Set Me Off

I want housing for the homeless to be designed by men and women who have been homeless. I want us to ask: where would be most convenient for you? What do you want in terms of size? What community space do you want? Do you want a front porch? I want us to care enough to design space useful to people instead of putting folks in available apartments because the apartments need tenants.

I want a Plan to End Homelessness that a normal person can read and make heads or tails of.

I want us to stop putting quotation marks around “experts” when we turn to men and women who’ve experienced homelessness for advice on how “we” can best “serve” them.

I want us to require developers to put dollars toward public housing whenever tax breaks are given by the city.

I want our “mixed income” communities to actually be “mixed income,” not faux “affordable housing” for $600 a month that folks coming off the streets cannot afford.

I want us to have options available to men and women living on the streets, regardless of income, so that not only people with “checks” have the “privilege” of being housed.

I want us to quit thinking our goal is to make “the homeless” productive members of society and to start thinking our duty is to structure housing in a way that lets people live the lives they need to live.

I want us to quit worrying about giving things away “for free” and start caring about people.

I want us to realize that people are still “homeless” if they are jailed.

I want us to quit talking about “low neighborhood impact” from housing for the homeless, as if homelessness were something to be afraid of.

I do not want to have to look at Utah—Utah!—and envy their action to end homelessness.

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