Homeless problem needs solution

KCRG-TV9 has been doing an excellent job reporting on the homeless problem in Johnson and Linn counties. The Gazette had a front-page article (Feb. 8) by a KCRG-TV9 reporter.

It might be a good idea to inventory the number of homes in foreclosure in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids as possible rental and ownership sites for the homeless. Since this is winter and the homeless are going to the post offices and the libraries (government buildings are warm), policing is a cost to taxpayers. Vandalism is costly. Thus it might be cheaper in the long run to provide governmental subsidies to the homeless to live in foreclosed homes.

In addition, it might be wise to invest in educational programs for the homeless so that they can use tutors and can take remedial courses at Kirkwood Community College. After they have housing and an education, they can qualify for employment opportunities. They could get guidance from social workers and mental health workers.

The first step to solving a problem is to identify that we have a problem. Now that KCRG-TV9 has identified the problem, the solution seems simple. Ignoring the problem by banning the homeless from governmental property seems to be inhumane. Investing might be cheaper in the long run.

Al Swegle

Cedar Rapids


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