People are living in their cars and RVs more and more these days. The high cost of living in an apartment or house is so excessive that many folks cut their losses. The first item to be cut from the budget is expensive rental spaces. Those lucky enough to have a vehicle move into it. Homelessness was shocking the first couple of years. Now it is simply a fact of life.
The new poor (formerly the middle class) have made car living their own. The city of Seattle is open minded enough to work with the car dwellers. In January, the city opened ‘safe lots’ for the car and RV crowd. It is refreshing to see a government agency giving its people what they actually need. Seattle’s plan is aimed in the right direction, but the city lacks the funding to continue their program. More federal assistance is required. Many cities are running these same people out of town.
The temporary lots set up for homeless people to park their cars and RVs have proved expensive for the city to run. This is partially because the residents aren’t signing up for the city services being offered. Some of these are housing, medical, and transportation. In the only permanent lot, all the residents have signed on for city services.
Detractors cite needles, garbage, and rats as evidence that the lots are not a good idea. The bad element of criminals and drug users causes many of the waste problems. Working people, of whom there are a great many, certainly don’t want the ghetto feel. They just want to go to work, then park in a safe place at night. Retirees can’t spend all their Social Security earnings on a rental space.
Since the United States government and its citizens are allowing homelessness on such a massive scale, they should at least soften the blow for the recipients. It is only fair and decent that the government supplies basic necessities. The simplest of these is showers, bathrooms, and a safe place to sleep. Children, the elderly, and those in poor health don’t have a lot of options. And poverty should never be an option.