With the onset of the tech boom, today's lifestyle focus on apps, smart devices and lights, siri, social media practically on automation. An presidential election coming, absurd political parties bickering with candidates laying on platforms. Yet in the America, the richest and greatest country on earth thrives two of the worst problems typical in a 3rd world country - Homelessness and Access to Affordable Housing.
In 1998, when the tech boom started and the markets crash, one of the reasons I founded, ADLE International was focus on continuing my outreach for people with low income, the elderly, the disabled, the marginalized youth, veterans and societies most vulnerable to disparity, discrimination and inequality due to having limited financial means and resources. Two decades after I can't just tell myself I can't believe the problem is still here and for all you know has gotten worst.
Part of the culprit lies on the severe income brackets of the so called rich, very rich and low income nowadays extreme poverty level. The State Medical and Medicaid systems for example classify lower income needing extra help if monthly personal cash reserves are below $2000 in San Francisco, CA when even an SRO (Standing Room Only aka Single Room Occupancy) in it's poor Tenderloin neighborhood range from $800 to $1300 and a typical Studio cost $1400 to $2,000 a month. It does not do the math as if you held $2001 anticipating just your rent, your no longer qualify for extra help and Medical/Medicaid might even cancel your enrollment.
The biggest challenge on top of this complication is if you just move to the city of San Francisco, there are no low income housing unless you want to go on to this massive wait list on the properties considered low income and affordable from 9 months to 5 years. If you have a parent on SSI (Social Security Income) that can no longer live alone and needs assisted living do the math = $900/month income and a typical shared assisted living which 95% only accepts private pay require $5000/month the cheapest shared room. Hence, is why part of the homeless population in the city are the vulnerable very elderly and even veterans who serve as there is no housing!
So when we were listing a book on our website today I said I have to write a blog even though it's been a while I haven't done one. Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America.
Conor Dougherty (Author) I believe made a good case presentation on this book as he writes. "A stunning, deeply reported investigation into the housing crisis
Spacious and affordable homes used to be the hallmark of American prosperity. Today, however, punishing rents and the increasingly prohibitive cost of ownership have turned housing into the foremost symbol of inequality and an economy gone wrong. Nowhere is this more visible than in the San Francisco Bay Area, where fleets of private buses ferry software engineers past the tarp-and-plywood shanties where the homeless make their homes. The adage that California is a glimpse of the nation's future has become a cautionary tale."
Indeed San Francisco has won the title of the most expensive city in the West and at times now have gone over New York becoming the most expensive city in the US. Oracle's OOW - Oracle Oracle Openworld Conference one of the biggest technology conferences in the last decade and a half this year finally left San Francisco to Las Vegas losing millions of tourist revenues for the city. Some of the conference attendee feedback received were of the so exuberant high cost of hotel rooms, the city has gotten dirty and a resounding majority stated homelessness. The cities Moscone Center perimeter for the yearly event has the various surrounding hotels in the union square shopping center as well the tenderloin neighborhood where the cities homeless are visible.
Dr. Sonja Trauss story in the book is the exact case scenarios by so many people living in the San Francisco Bay area. I really recommend spending some time reading this book so you can get a real store glimpse of why?