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If you have not read or seen this yet, it appears our typically not-so-friendly distant neighbors to the north have been packing up their homeless problem and randomly sending people across the country to other municipalities to live, including to multiple cities in North Carolina.
Now, I have a charitable place in my heart for people who are in a bind and truly need assistance, Christ never turned a blind eye to the needy and neither should we — but we have our own homeless populations in North Carolina that we have to deal with, and having New York City just decide to round up there homeless folks, find them an apartment in North Carolina, give them a year’s rent, move them down here and just leave without so much as telling local officials or homelessness advocacy groups about it is simply mind-boggling — and wrong.
New York’s reasoning? It is cheaper to pay a year’s rent here then to try to maintain them in New York City. Well, of course it is — duh. Not only do the city officials save in rent, they save in Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, the whole shooting match — they pay rent for a year and slough folks off on us; our taxpayers carry the burden from here on out.
Quite the deal for New York City’s taxpayers, don’t you think? Yep — and also quite the short end of the stick for North Carolina’s.
So far, New York City has admitted it sent 22 homeless families to towns around an area from Fayetteville to Rocky Mount to Durham, 10 towns in that area that are already struggling with their own homeless issues — and by renting them an apartment, our own homelessness advocacy groups don’t even know they are here until they can’t pay rent after that year and come looking for help.
Can you imagine if your rich neighbors stopped by one day and just dropped off their out-of-work cousin and left them at your home to take care of? Because that is pretty much what New York City has done. This tells me that city cares nothing for its residents unless they are paying into the system, not costing it money as those who are homeless do.
Then there is North Carolina. Like that neighbor who had the family dropped on the doorstep in the paragraph above, North Carolina did not shun them, because that’s not how we do things around here.
According to Wake County officials, there are about 1,000 people sleeping on the streets or in tents across that county every night — and yet New York sends more, as if by some miraculous happening, this family will have enough money after a year to afford what it costs to live in Raleigh or Wake Forest.
Nope, right back on the street will be the most likely norm.
“If they’re here and they’re homeless, they’re ours, and our belief is that each person has sacred value,” was the message from Wake County Housing on hearing this news.
You know, New York City could learn a lot from that statement.
Mark Cone is owner and operator of SouthernNashNews.com.