Dear Orlando, bigger homeless shelters are not an affordable housing plan

Listen, let’s get straight to the point. Somewhere along the line, our elected officials started celebrating the bolstering of our homeless shelters as progress in affordable housing.

They were likely brainwashed by Orlando Real Estate into thinking that instead of supporting responsible rent practices, they could just sink funds into shelters instead, and claim victory that way.

And they bought right into it.

But it’s not an affordable housing plan.

Our lawmakers celebrating bigger homeless shelters as a victory in the fight for affordable housing is the equivalent to doctors celebrating their treatments in the morgue. The battle is already lost.

They’re just convincing themselves that they’re doing right by their constituents. No different then when Orlando real estate kicks a family out on the street for being greedy. It’s mental gymnastics.

When a family loses their home. Everyone in that family loses progress in their life.

Jobs are lost. Kids miss school. Families begin fighting and are often destroyed.

And a cot in a shelter isn’t going to heal the damage done by greedy property managers in this town.

Our problem is that we’ve begun to believe that the safety net is progress. When in fact, it’s not. Its the safety net.

Rehousing is an extremely difficult task in Orlando. I know this. Even with the smartest friends someone could ask for, its still a battle I ultimately lost.

But hey. Homeless shelters.

In closing, I want to underline the great work many of our shelters and non profits do to combat homelessness. They’re some of the best people the Orlando community has to offer.

It’s just unfortunate they’re spending their days cleaning up the mess some of the greediest people in our community are creating.

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