Monday, June 27, 2016

Clinton vs Trump: It's a madder, madder, madder, madder world!!!

In this post I'll attempt to show patterns and draw parallels between several major events of the past 100 years on either side of the Atlantic. I hope to provoke thoughts about lessons that the world should have learned by now. I'll also make some political predictions – things that I hope for as well as unfavorable things that I foresee happening:

It's a madder, madder, madder, madder world. That truth is especially evident when one looks at the last 100 years – from World War I right up to Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign season. The logic of the world's most learned political elites has been turned on its head time and time again – leaving any reasonable person to wonder if there's any hope of us voting for and/or appointing a set of leaders who can display a sufficient level of geopolitical sanity and if it's possible for those who don't come from privileged backgrounds to do any better. After all, numerous entertainers have brought their gift for making people laugh into the three-ring circus of government in the U.S. and in South America.

In 1916 we were in the middle of World War I (which was known as “The World War” until 1939). The political establishment of 1918 figured that, after the World War, we would never have a conflict of that magnitude again. Everyone had learned some hard lessons and no one would allow their political disagreements to get that out of hand again. Woodrow Wilson said that World War I was the "war to end all wars". Then World War II happened and his logic was turned on its head. He erroneously assumed that long memories and a desire for peace would prevail. Then, in 1939, with Wilson having died 15 years earlier, the world learned that he was actually wrong.

During and after World War II various nations came together to form the United Nations – a body that would ensure a lasting peace. We see where that got us. Though the lesson here is not as clear, I'll venture a guess and say that I believe that it was a desire to avoid the establishment of a geo-totalitarian regime like the one that might have arisen had our German general and American forces not defeated the German forces on Normandy Beach. That, in turn, led to the architects of the United Nations writing impotence into the rules. We've become so afraid of autocracy that we sometimes don't give those charged with keeping the peace enough authority to get their jobs done. At least, that's my personal summation of the matter.

Sadly, the populace that abhors any form of autocracy also abhors the deep thought that it is necessary for us to exhibit if we are not to have a dictator or any type of centralized power.

Let's not forget that, between the world wars, the Great Depression began and that German Chancellor Adolf Hitler was seen as a hero after expelling the Belgian forces from Germany – Belgium having occupied Germany in order to exact payment of war debt from them. (Their famous waffles weren't enough to convince Hitler to let them stay.)

With war spurring the creation of jobs both during and after the conflict, the conclusion of World War II led to there being an economic boom the world over. This period of prosperity ended abruptly with the Oil Crisis of 1973. The European Union was conceived by Winston Churchill (1874 to 1965) and the concept described by him in a 1946 speech. The concept was developed piecemeal over the next 47 years into what we now know as the European Union, having established its headquarters in Brussels Belgium in 1958. It has since grown to include 28-member nations – a number that could shrink considerably in coming years as a result of the fallout from Brexit – even if the vote is reversed by another referendum (which I guess they'll call “re-Brentrance”). I don't know if the Europeans were eyeing the impotence of the United Nations and therefore attempting to form a more authoritative and effective body; but, the crafters of the European Union ensured that it was able to increase its power and influence – metamorphosing from a mere economic institution into a political one. Now many Europeans are concerned that the E.U. has become a succubus that is constantly usurping the federal authority and national identity of its member nations.

It would seem that the world is objectively longing for something between the impotence of the U.N. and the attempted totalitarianism of the E.U. In any instance, seemingly opposite political arrangements have proven to be inadequate – the impotent one sitting relatively unchallenged in New York City while the more assertive one is railed against vehemently on the other side of the pond. Maybe this is why the American government doesn't give its citizens the right to hold national referendums. Were Americans to elect to end our United Nations membership, it stands to reason that the U.N. would not be able to pay all of its bills. That's not to speak of the fact that the acronym would contain innuendo: “Usexit” (You sex it).

Let's also tease out the fickle aspect within the thinking of the British voters who changed their minds within hours of casting their votes. Howbeit, Americans are no better than those in Mother England insomuch as we complain about the officials that we elected and then, out of spite, vote for the other party – the one we were dissatisfied with four to eight years earlier, even though that party hasn't changed its ways. Let's also factor in how the political and economic pundits were telling investors not to panic or sell off all of their stock – not to let emotion rule the day. (Yep, they told people not to get emotional. Imagine that.) Even so, the NYSE graph resembled a roller coaster on the Friday after the Brexit vote – one whose steep decline would be more fun if it really were a ride at an amusement park than it probably was for Wall Street corporations that day. All of this emotion and indecision among citizens gives politicians occasion to claim that they are “saving us from ourselves” when they decide FOR us rather than initiating national referendums. It also begs the question: “Who's crazier, the politicians or the populace???”.

DONALD TRUMP, though he's not a full-fledged politician yet (and hopefully NEVER WILL BE), can help us answer that question. Millions of Americans have voted for him in the primaries, though he probably won't survive the general election (or the month of August, if God answers my prayer). But the fact remains that many people have thrown their support behind the presumptive GOP nominee, though they are retracting that support in lieu of the reality of a Clinton (maybe even a Clinton/Sanders) presidency. It stands to reason that many voters went temporarily insane and voted with their emotions. Then Trump became the Captain Planet of insanity by becoming “their insanity combined”. Now the voters are thinking more clearly and Trump is noticeably crazier. Question answered.

There's a good chance that more voters will come to their senses; that Trump will continue to get crazier (taking their madness unto himself and relieving them of it); that Clinton's lead over Trump in the polls will persist and even increase and that she'll pick Bernie Sanders as her veep. All of this would slow the pace at which insanity tightens its grip on the political structure of the most powerful nation on Earth. Let's face it: An insane government with big guns is a scarier thought than ISIS. Once Trump is effectively eliminated, we'll be left to wonder exactly how Clinton will lead – whether by emotion like what manifested on Wall Street after the Brexit vote or by rationale which I hope more closely resembles that of President Obama than it does that of Bush 43 or the Tea Party (that ultra-hyperbolic group whose e-mails I read when I need a good laugh).

I'm guessing that, no matter how Hillary Clinton leads the country and the free world, she'll be screwed (even if the excitement of becoming the nation's first “First Man” proves to be too much for Bill's heart and he transitions to the Great White House in the Sky during her transition to the presidency). If calm rationale prevails, then women will complain that she became our first female president only to forsake her femininity and govern like a man – in much the same way that they complained about her not pulling the “woman card” during her 2008 campaign. If Hillary Clinton puts her emotion front and center, then large numbers of men will blame any misstep of hers on emotion and use her presidency to build their case against feminine/emotional leadership in high places (the U.S. presidency being different than any other leadership post in the world). The battle of the sexes could be taken to new heights and the gender equality which I support and promote could be pushed back to pre-Eleanor Roosevelt times. Nonetheless, Ms. Clinton won't be able to claim that she was judged unfairly, being as our first Afro-American president continues to receive favorable ratings more than seven years into his administration. That lends itself to the notions that our “Affirmative-Action presidencies” (Black, female etc) are not examined under a different light than other presidencies and that pollsters DO, in fact, take nto consideration any extenuating circumstances that a commander(ette)-in-chief is faced with. (Many people – myself included – were concerned in 2009 that Obama would be judged unfairly by polls and historians for failing to do the impossible after being dealt a bad hand by his predecessor.)

Even as president Clinton's inauguration in and of itself will do more to affect the political direction of the world than all of her policy decisions combined, so also her choice of a vice president will do more to change the political landscape of the country than all of his initiatives combined. I hope and suspect that Ms. Clinton will settle on Bernie Sanders as her running mate. Furthermore, having an openly-Socialist veep who she charges with developing Wall Street regulations and social service reforms might just be her saving grace in light of how I expect other men to judge her. Add to this the fact that some American women don't support us having a female president – not because they think that she couldn't do the job; but rather, because they don't think she'd be respected by other players on the international stage. Tapping Sanders for the VP post would qualify as a rational decision with infinite return and guarantee that she'd go down in history as one of the better presidents of our time – even if she governs by emotion.

In all honesty, I expect a number of social ills and other societal issues to come to a head in 2017. Clinton's inauguration will cause the battle of the sexes to grow to pandemic proportions and force all of us to more deliberately define and discuss the gender differences that overshadow many of our interactions. Those who supported Trump will likely show themselves to be sore losers and a more imminent threat than the Tea Party or ISIS. Millions of poor people will be emboldened by our Socialist “President of the Senate” to demand change – making him very popular and relevant domestically while his boss gets pummeled on the world stage by a geopolitical establishment which placed the impenetrable, reinforced glass ceiling right above the heads of Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel. The Senate elections of 2016 and 2018 as well as the House elections of 2018 will likely result in the Democrats occupying at least 60% of both houses – making it relatively easy for current DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to continue the social service reforms of the late Bernie Sanders beginning in early 2019 (though she'll do poorly on Wall Street regulations and give up almost immediately).

At the risk of seeming as crazy as Trump and his supporters, I'll go so far as to guess that, while it will be Bowser's successor at the Wilson Building who restarts the conversation around the fate of the city's CCNV shelter some time in 2020, the issue will haunt her in 2023 as the city tries to move forward on its planned closure and the locals who were emboldened by the Sanders vice presidency begin to inundate President Bowser with their demands that the completed Capitol Crossing development across the road not be allowed to push the poor to the fringes. I have faith that Muriel Bowser will make the right choice as she finishes out the last two years (minus a day) of Clinton's second term and goes on to do two more full terms – becoming the longest-serving president since term limits were instituted in 1951.

At any rate, I expect that the world will see the emergence of full-on geopolitical madness clearly by 2020 and that three years thereafter our first Afro-American female president will long for the mess that Obama inherited over the one that the late Clinton left her with. However, it's been said that “Every dark cloud has a silver lining” and the silver lining here seems to be that the 25% of Americans who are having some discernible struggle with sanity will be further emboldened – going from discussing their mental conditions on social media to coming out of the closet via talk shows and public events on the county fairgrounds. They'll be able to point to the late (and thankfully, silent) Donald Trump as an accomplished person from their group. Who wouldn't come out of the closet with such an iconic figure to uphold as one of their own??? There'd be no reason to be ashamed. After all, it's a madder, madder, madder, madder world.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Death of Donald Trump

I apologize if the title gave you any false hope. I have no Earthly reason to believe that Donald J. Trump will die in the foreseeable future. [Sob!!!] I surely am not taking any steps to bring about his death. Though it would make many Americans ecstatic, it would also ensure that the (not-so-) Secret Service pays me a visit -- guns drawn. That said, this blog post is purely hypothetical and intended to give Americans and the world a ray of hope amidst all of the political and socioeconomic turmoil of our day.

[Just to be clear, I foresee a Clinton/Sanders presidency beginning in 2017 (which I predicted at least six months before the mass media) and Bernie spending his last two years on Earth formulating Wall Street regulations and social service reforms. Let's hope.....and VOTE. After all, a Sanders vice-presidency might have a positive trickle-down effect that makes it easier for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and other mayors to end homelessness in their respective cities.]

I'm not aware of Donald Trump having any chronic physical illnesses (though he's got a legion of demons and enough mental illness to make Norman Bates envious). Then again he IS filthy rich and nearing 70 years old. So, he's probably got gout, high blood pressure and a few other ailments. One can only hope. However, I'm not banking on any of the conditions that he might have taking him out before November 8th or even January 20th. I'm trusting God to finish off Donald Trump by the end of August 2016. Seriously. Scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that God and/or personified wisdom will laugh at the calamity of evildoers. Proverbs chapter 1 also warns against being greedy and money-hungry. Add to that the fact that a New Testament couple was slain in the church for lying about their finances rather than keeping their money and withdrawing from the church/Jesus like the rich, young ruler did.

For those who think that God is all love, won't laugh at calamity and surely won't bring it, just read Job chapter 1 and Revelation chapter 6. In the book of Job we see that God mentioned Job during His conversation with Satan and then He allowed Satan to kill most of Job's family and all of his livestock -- all over a bet. In Revelation chapter 6 we see that God will send various calamities upon the world in the form of the four horsemen and that "Hades follows close behind". God's propensity for sending calamity and then laughing about it gives me hope -- the hope that He'll decimate the Republican Party by ending the life of Donald Trump in August 2016.

Let's face it: Donald Trump is a loose cannon who, if elected in November, would send shock waves throughout the world. (Let's hope that this is not God's preferred calamity for the world.) Whether Trump wins or loses, the GOP is bound to become more fractured -- the only question there being whether this deeper division will be due to the party failing to regain the White House or due to Trump's policy decisions as president (the latter of which he has failed to adequately articulate hereto now). A Trump presidency would foster more racial tensions -- with Mexicans because of his proposal to build "The Great Wall of America" (taking one from the Chinese playbook) and with Afro-Americans because of the likelihood that he'll destroy the social safety net without creating a clear path to housing-wage jobs for all able-bodied poor people As is the case with Hillary, his election alone would carry more messages and spur more actions by the full American political establishment than anything that he might say or do once inaugurated -- his stance on Blacks notwithstanding. We can be relatively sure that, even as many in the U.K. and Kenya took an interest in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the Muslim world will be watching the election in November 2016 and determining how they'll respond to a Trump presidency. I'm sure that response won't be very nice. Celebrities and personal friends have said they would leave the country if Trump were elected. (They really should stay and use their resources to finance an anti-Trump revolution -- not abandon the poor.)

So much for the troubles that a Trump presidency would create. Let's consider the benefits of a Trump death AFTER the Republican National Convention but BEFORE November 8th. Were it to happen too close to November 8th, it could lead to the demise of the GOP. [Hooray!!!] However, we wouldn't get to watch them run about frantically in an effort to replace the late Donald J(ackass) Trump. Oh how I love the sound of that....."the late Donald J(ackass) Trump". The GOP would just kind of roll over and die in terms of the 2016 presidential race. They'd then try unsuccessfully to regroup and to retain -- even gain -- seats in the House of Reps in 2018. I'd rather see it happen in August -- the month after the convention.

Were Trump the kick the bucket in August -- the one being used by una Mejicana to scrub the floors of his mansion -- in August, this would send the GOP into a tailspin for a number of reasons. They'd have to consider whether or not to call simultaneous "emergency primaries" in all 50 states and in all U.S. territories; because, were the party leadership and GOP establishment to choose a new candidate without involving the base in the decision, it would deepen the intra-party tensions that were created by the establishment and leadership speaking out against a demagogue who is loved by the GOP base. The GOP would almost have to redo the primaries by mid-October; and, I'd love to watch them scramble.

Then there's the matter of the 16th and final GOP candidate to get knocked off by Trump -- the one who has a missile named after him and wants to carpet-bomb ISIS into oblivion. I guess Ted Cruz doesn't realize that the carpet-bombed Muslims would go down in history as martyrs whose deaths would be avenged by the even larger number of replacements. Cruz,like Trump, is disliked by the party establishment and only got less than 25% of the GOP delegates to boot -- Trump having gotten about 60% If he were brought back by the party only because Trump was dead, he'd have a bone to pick with the establishment, the party leadership and the party base. He'd be verbally carpet-bombing all of the people whom he had previously hoped would support him. That would be so much fun to watch.

Now let's hypothesize about someone other than Ted Cruz. The Republicans might turn to a governor or senator who previously was not in the 2016 race and try to sell this person to the nation in less than three months -- not an easy feat. It would, no doubt, be a pro forma effort and a space holder as the party braces for major 2018 losses in the House.

A Trump death in August wouldn't only affect the GOP (and possibly lead to it splitting into two parties, thereby giving us the three-or-so party system we need). It would force Hillary to change her talking points, being as she'd be facing off with a different candidate. That's the easy part. Once the GOP becomes completely and irreversibly irrelevant, the Dems are bound to have a lot more in-fighting. (Every time people com together and defeat a common enemy, the winners then begin fighting each other soon thereafter. It's the way o the world.) This eventual Democratic in-fighting (an oxymoron, by all means) might even lead to them splitting as well. Depending on whether the more closely aligned factions of either party choose to remain separate or to combine, we could have three or four parties when all is said and done. Anything greater than two is better than what we currently have; as, it eliminates this idea of simply voting for the other party when one dissatisfies you. People would have to actually THINK about which party they support out of the two or more parties that don't currently have the White House or the majority of Congress. They couldn't just flip-flop anymore. They'd have to THINK about why they are throwing their support behind the party of their choice. It would no longer be as simple as saying "This is the party that didn't screw me around for the last four to six years". They'd have to be able to articulate why, after dismissing the party in power, they chose this remaining party over that one. Having at least three parties eliminates the "politics of 'No'" and forces people to THINK more proactively and affirmatively about their choices. And to think that all of this could happen as a result of Trump dying by the end of August. A Trump death could be the best thing to happen to the country and the world. This is my prayer. AMEN.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

DC's Mayor Bowser Has A Feasible Plan to End Homelessness – Maybe.

I would like to congratulate all homeless advocates, non-profits, council members and administration officials who had anything to do with the city committing at least $22.16M to housing at least 2,431 homeless DC residents in Fiscal Year 2017. If the calculations that I list below are correct AND if we were to maintain the same level of funding through the end of Fiscal Year 2020 (adjusting the baseline budget for inflation), then the city could conceivably house 9,724 homeless people in the next four fiscal years (FY 17 thru 20). That's 1,374 more than the 8,350 homeless people that DC had as of January 2016. THAT'S PROGRESS!!!!!

I calculated that as many as 1,122 of the 2,431 people that the city could house in FY 17 are able-bodied adults. Most or all of these adults would need to use the services of the Dept. Of Employment Services' Project Empowerment program. However, Project Empowerment served 585 people in FY 15 and not all of them were homeless. This represents A CAPACITY PROBLEM.

DC Government has several reasons to want to bring the housing efforts of DHS together with the employment efforts of DOES, not the least of which is the federal legislation known as the Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act or WIOA. This legislation requires municipalities to do better at connecting hard-to-employ people to jobs. This group includes the homeless.

Another reason for DC Government to want to adjoin these efforts is that doing so would increase the likelihood of the able-bodied people whom the city houses in 2017 will remain housed for a long time thereafter. Let's not forget that connecting capable people to housing-wage jobs which they maintain for many years thereafter is just “the right thing to do”.

Other reasons include the fact that several administrations since 2004 have worked on ending homelessness. Additionally, the most recent 5-year plan to end homelessness (adopted in 2015) states that in DC a housing wage is $28.25 per hour for the average-priced rental – c. $1,500/month. (I would add that this figure is for a full-time worker who is not supporting a spouse or children.) What's more is that the city now has a deputy mayor of greater economic opportunity and she is working hard to connect poor people to living-wage ($13.85 per hour) or housing wage jobs – which I'm not entirely sure. I don't think anyone in or connected to the social service arena wants DC Government to fail in this capacity. I sure don't.

When I get the updated figures concerning the percentage of Project Empowerment program participants are homeless, then I'll be able to give a figure at to the total number of clients that the program would need to have a capacity to serve annually in order for DOES to fulfill its role of connecting recently-housed A-bods to living/housing-wage jobs. If we assume that two-thirds of PE clients are homeless, then PE would need to have a capacity to serve at least 1,683 people per year in order to keep up with the rate at which A-bods are connected to housing.

Housing for those who make a “living wage” but not a “housing wage”:
which implies that they're living somewhere other than in housing...
which means they're homeless while employed...

It is not realistic to think that the majority of the 1,122 able-bodied homeless adults who might get connected to employment in FY 17 are going to make at least $28.25 per hour or afford a $1,500 rental. It has been brought to my attention that there are single room occupancies and 400 sq. ft. units that can go for $650 per month which is one-third of $1,950. A person working 160 hours per month at $12.50 per hour makes $2,000 gross monthly pay. This might be a more REALISTIC EMPLOYMENT/HOUSING GOAL.

Short-Term Asks and Considerations:

With 1,122 of the 1,547 or 72.53% of the homeless adults who will be housed in 2017 being able-bodied, this is indicative of a systemic shift toward splitting our attention and housing resources between the most vulnerable and least vulnerable homeless as opposed to focusing only on the former group – the able-bodied parents of course having vulnerable children. Now that the administration is beginning to do things that I support and have (along with others) called for over the past 10 years, I am committing myself wholeheartedly to doing all that I can to help and to push things to the next level.

It is with that idea in mind that I offer this write-up in its entirety and the simplified asks in this section as a template for our efforts over the next year ending on June 9th, 2017. Since the FY 17 budget for housing the homeless looks positive but the city's ability to make able-bodied homeless people self-sufficient seems to be insufficient, this combination of truths plays right into the focus of myself and some of my associates who are currently emphasizing living-wage jobs and affordable housing for able-bodied homeless people. Our short-term goals should be as follows:

1 – PROGRAM CAPACITY: Beginning now (June 9th, 2016), look at the capacity that DC Gov's Dept. Of Employment Services (DOES) has through the Project Empowerment Program and other programs to connect homeless people to jobs that will enable them to remain housed (without further government assistance thereafter). Consider the prospects for increasing the capacity of all such programs so that they can absorb homeless A-bods as they are housed (while continuing to assist people who are not known to have experienced homelessness). I'm guessing that at least 1,683 people would need to be served through project Empowerment annually in order to meet our goals; but, am prepared to have my figures disputed.

Maybe item #1 could be a topic at the June 21st meeting at DOES (for which participation is limited to those who received invites to the May 18th meeting).

2 – Also beginning now, DOES could work with DHS to develop a more intentional and well thought out “housing first” initiative that focuses on housing A-bods and then guarantees that DOES will connect them to living-wage jobs within a reasonable time frame. This differs from Rapid Re-housing insomuch as the client doesn't have to prove that they have the ability to become self-sufficient within 18 months,as is the case with RRH. It instead puts the onus on DOES to adjust the department's programs so as to guarantee that DOES has the ability to adequately help the homeless A-bods.

3 – Implement any changes that can be implemented in the remaining months of FY 16 – expansions and improvements of program models. Document the successes and failures of these programs. Determine what additional resources and permissions are needed from the DC Council and the mayor, respectively.

4 – Ask the mayor for such permissions ASAP and prepare any necessary pertinent budget requests and adjustments beginning now and going into the 2017 budget season for the FY 18 budget.

*The items listed above are just ideas that are meant to get the conversation moving. Quickly.*

Below are explanations as to how I arrived at the above figures and of the facts that I gathered from other sources in order to do my math.

I was happy to see what was printed on the quarter sheet that we received at the June 7th ICH “Singles CAHP” (Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement) committee meeting. It said:

"Highlights from FY 17 Budget:

$6.8M for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to serve 425 individuals

$1.7M for Targeted Affordable housing (TAH) to serve 141 individuals

$3.9M to help just over 200 families through TAH

Maintains last year's funding for Rapid Rehousing to serve 350 individuals and 284 families."
[End of quote]

I, Eric Sheptock, juxtaposed figures from the aforementioned quarter sheet with numbers from the 2016 Point-in-Time Homeless Enumeration Fact Sheet (not to be confused with the regional figures) and did some additional math using the latter document so as to figure out that:

4,667 members of homeless families minus 2,722 children equals 1,945 adults, the latter comprising about 41.68% of the total homeless family make-up.

4,667 family members divided by 1,491 families comes out to about 3.13 people per family.

Budget Math:

$6.8M divided by 425 people is $16,000 per (disabled) person.

$1.7M divided by 141 people is $12,056.74 per person.

$3.9M divided by 200+ families is less than $19,500 per family (less than $6,500 per person).

[$12,056.74 times 350 individuals is about $4.22M
$19,500 times 284 families is about $5.54M
Maintained funding” was about $9.76M.]

If so, the total is about $22.16M.

Number of People Served:

As per the homeless point-in-time count, there are about 3.13 people per family, up from 3.07 last year. That means that 200 families translates to 626 people and 284 families translates to 889 people for a total of 1,515 people in families that will be served by the FY 17 budget.

With 41.68% of homeless family members being adults of which a negligible percentage are disabled, that means 631 of the 1,515 family members are able-bodied adults.

There are 916 single adults who will be served by this pot of money (425 plus 141 plus 350) of which 425 are disabled and 491 are able-bodied.

The total number of people housed by the FY 17 budget is 2,431 of which about 425 are disabled. That means that 631 A-bod parents plus 491 A-bod individuals give us 1,122 people who will need some assistance finding housing-wage jobs in 2017.

(Project Empowerment served 585 people last year.)

DOES needs to more than double its capacity to assist 1,100+ homeless people in one year through Project Empowerment, if they are going to be part of the mayor's 5-year plan to end homelessness. (Not all of the 585 were homeless.) I'm assuming that the city will try to connect all of the A-bods it houses in 2017 to jobs in that same year. It kind of makes sense. This goes to what we often say at meetings about "connecting all of the dots”. If DHS is going to house 1,100+ A-bod homeless people in one year, then DOES needs to assist at least that many homeless people at getting jobs as they exit homelessness each year -- at least that many (not counting the housed/never homeless people they help). How they do it is another conversation. We have a minimum goal to shoot for.


The title says that “DC has a feasible plan to end homelessness.....maybe”. As the late,great fighter Muhammad Ali said, “Every fighter has a plan.....until he gets hit”. In lieu of the fact that DC has been trying for 12 years to end homelessness, it would be extremely ignorant of me not to consider what might go wrong. The grim possibilities include but are not limited to the following:

1 – There could be a massive influx of homeless people into Washington, DC between December 2016 and June 2017. There might also be tenuously-housed people from other states who come here during that time frame and get stuck. 2017 is an inauguration year and we are poised to have our first ever female president and openly-Socialist vice president.

There are homeless people who come to DC in connection to every inauguration as per a recently-retired outreach worker. I had an interesting interaction with one such person in 2009 and witnessed her getting surrounded by Secret Service agents after she told them who she was. I never heard from or saw her again. Unless Travelers' Aid comes to the rescue, this influx could drive up the number of homeless people. That's not to speak of locals who have and will become homeless following the January 2016 homeless count.

That said, I expect a higher-than-usual influx of homeless people for the upcoming inauguration – some coming to congratulate Ms. Clinton and others coming to tell her how that they believe a woman shouldn't be president. (I personally promote equality, so long as we don't lower the bar for women. As Ms. USA 2016 said, “Women are as tough as men”.)

2 – We're counting on the DC Council to maintain at least the FY 17 baseline budget with adjustments for inflation factored in all the way through FY 20. This is not guaranteed.

3 – We're counting on DOES' programs to keep pace with the number of homeless A-bods who get housed. WIOA almost guarantees that they'll succeed in this respect. However, it is a tall order and there are a lot of moving parts to keep up with.

4 – There are a lot of variables which include the number of people who can be expected to enter homelessness between now and the end of 2020 as well as the number of homeless people who can be expected to complete any employment program.

That said, keep hope alive.

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