Monday, August 16, 2004

The Two Truths

The first truth:

President Outlines Path for Lasting Prosperity in Wednesday Speech
Remarks by the President at the Newspaper Association of America Annual Convention Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.
April 21, 2004

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, all. Burl, thank you very much. I kind of like ducking those questions. (Laughter.) I appreciate you having me. I hope this toast business becomes a habit -- (laughter) -- if you know what I mean. (Laughter.)

[...] Homeownership is at the highest rate ever, which is really positive for America. The more people who own something, the better off the country is. Inflation is low. Interest rates are low. And the economy is growing, which is good news.

The second truth:

Voices of the Lost and Forgotten-Part One
by Jay Shaft Friday, Aug. 13, 2004 at 8:56 AM

Since the beginning of this year, there has been yet another shocking increase in the number of homeless families. The National Coalition for the Homeless is tracking 20-40% increases across the country, in every state and local area. From all recent reports from provider agencies, approximately 50-80% of new requests for shelter are going unmet.

These are some of the voices of the families lost in a world of poverty, homelessness, and despair. Many can not get any kind of help, no matter where the go.

This series of articles is an outlet for the people who are living through an overwhelming crisis. They want to tell everyone how bad it really is out there on the streets. Their voices will reveal the true depth of despair that many working class and low income families are living with on a daily basis.

I have spoken to over 300 families that have lost permanent housing. They tell horrifying tales of not being able to find emergency shelter for weeks or months at a time. They tell of the long housing list waits of two years or more, and how in many circumstances they don’t even qualify by HUD’s definition of homelessness. [...]