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Housing One-Fifth of DC's 7,000 Homeless in One Fell Swoop?!

On October 31st, 2013 the CCNV Task Force which is headed by DC Councilman Jim Graham will meet on the 3rd floor (3-North) of CCNV which is located at 425 2nd Street NW, Washington, DC. It is located right on the edge of Capitol Hill and is metro accessible, being 2 blocks from the Judiciary Square Metro Station and 3 blocks from Union Station (both on the Red Line). The D6 bus stops right in front of the shelter (as long as the driver doesn't refuse to do so). The meeting is open to the public.

Here's a brief account of what got us to this point.....

The Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) homeless shelter was established in the 1980's by Vietnam-era veterans who'd renounced violence, thus the name. Through the direct action of Mitch Snyder and dozens of homeless people (many young and old veterans being homeless even in this day and age), a vacant federal building was wrested from the Reagan administration and given to DC Government with strings attached. The …

DC Mayor Vincent Gray's Promise of Affordable Housing

This article about mayor Gray's "effort" to create affordable housing appeared in today's City Paper: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2013/03/12/gray-task-force-unveil-proposals-for-affordable-housing/ . In began to send an e-mail response to my associates here in DC; but, then it occurred to me that my e-mail was, in essence, a blog post. So, after reading the article, read my post below.....

Gray has committed to the creation of 10,000 units of affordable housing by 2020 (5 years after the term that he's serving ends, with there being uncertainty as to whether or not he'll win in 2014 or be able to complete a second term, being in his 70"s).

While I commend his "effort", his math is way off. $100M for 10,000 units comes out to $10,000 per unit, with the cost of creating a single apartment unit in DC exceeding $100,000. The article says that it would take $500M to $1 billion to keep his promise. I also made that p…

Fiscal Cliff or Congressional Black Hole?

So, we're going over the "fiscal cliff" in February or March and Congress is ostensibly"trying" (notice I didn't say "working") to soften the impact. This analogy raises the questions: What type of vehicle were we in as we went over the fiscal cliff -- a car, bus, train, hang glider? Were we using dangerously long bungee cords or sufficiently short ones? How far is the fall? What's at the bottom? And is there a steep slope that we bump along until we hit the bottom or does the precipice protrude at the top, allowing for a free fall? All of this will determine how badly we get hurt -- or worse.

I prefer to think of the debacle called the U.S. Congress (the 535 people and ALL that they do, not just their most recent failed effort) as a "black hole". We pay taxes to them, though not necessarily by choice. Congress then spends most of their time and much of our money on legislation that benefits an elite few of us. Congress is like a bla…