Letter: We owe all citizens opportunity for housing

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Buncombe Lags on Goals for Resident Well-being,” Dec. 14, Xpress:] Many years ago, I worked in emergency housing in Clearwater, Fla. I saw firsthand the benefits of Section 8 housing. This was not a free ride but oftentimes just the assistance people needed to overcome the sometimes almost impossible hurdles of moving from houseless to housed.

Being housed makes a tremendous difference when looking for employment, creating a stable base for school assignments and the beginnings of being part of a community. These are just a few of the benefits. Whatever the source, I believe we owe all our citizens an opportunity to be housed.

— Bernise A. Lynch


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7 thoughts on “Letter: We owe all citizens opportunity for housing

  1. Richard B.

    I am with you Bernise, right up until your last sentence stating we OWE our citizens, etc.
    Why do we, why does anybody, have a moral obligation to provide housing for all those who don’t have it.
    Is it because we do, having worked to provide it for ourselves and our families?
    Is it because those who do not have housing have done something for us that we have an obligation to provide for them?
    Excepting of course those who truly cannot help themselves due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances over which they had little
    or no control, I’m curious as to why you believe persons who have their health and are able to work, but choose not to, should be provided for by those who do work.

    • Jason W

      ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

  2. R.G.

    ‘In an ideal world made perfect in the likeness of the Lord, everyone will have a roof over their head. If they so desire, they will own their homes free and clear. Verily I say, not all should or shall reside in the Asheville area. Nor should they so desire. What’s more, there are aplenty more affordable places than the land of milk and honey to live, breathe and drinketh pricey ale.’
    So sayeth the Lord.

  3. Mason

    We were in The Netherlands in several cities last summer and it was shocking how few homeless we encountered… like almost none. I have not witnessed that in really any major American city or Western European for that matter? Where are the homeless and are there lessons we in Asheville can learn from the approach Amsterdam has used since 2006? I think so. Of a population numbering close to 1 million, Amsterdam counted a scant 500-1000 homeless.
    “In the first phase of the project, from 2006 – 2010, over 10.000 people who were living in the streets were offered personal assistance in finding medical care, tackling addictions and treating psychological problems. All those who took the offer got free accommodation. Over 5.500 people found a more stable lifestyle with an income and a roof over their heads. The results were noticeable. In October 2008, the streets of the 4 large cities had lost 6.500 homeless people. Classic urban sights such as drug users, screaming homeless with heavy psychiatric disorders, beggars, petty thieves, homeless prostitutes, all once a common sight in Amsterdam, had more or less disappeared from the Amsterdam view. The project cost €175 million. It was calculated each invested euro saved 2-3 euros.”

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