One of the many stains on our society is the growing homelessness problem in America, one that illuminates our mental health epidemic as well as anything, and also one our so-called leaders don’t seem to have any interest in actually finding a solution for.  So in the spirit of turning away from the elite-backed politicians we know will fail us, allow me to share with you my thoughts on homelessness in America and what we can do about it so that a real conversation on fixing this problem can begin.

Tonight, there will be almost 600,000 people sleeping on the streets or in shelters across America. Most of these Americans are facing serious drug addiction or mental health issues, which is why addressing homelessness must include the lateral efforts of ending our mental health epidemic and improving our psychological well-being as a Nation. But while solving the mental health problems in America is a huge part of ending homelessness, it isn’t the only thing that must be done. 40% of homeless Americans have jobs, 30% belong to homeless family struggling alongside them, and 5% of them will die on the streets this year. And the problem doesn’t just affect the homeless today, because as many as 20 million Americans either have or will experience homelessness sometime in their lives, too.

I believe there are a number of different initiatives our federal government could support to end the problem of homelessness in America, and if it did, the benefits of these programs would not just be felt by the 600,000 on the streets today, but the positive economic impact would carry over to virtually all Americans. They could begin by ending investment banks plans to monopolize the housing market, forcing property values and rent to skyrocket across the country. They could stand up for Americans right to homeownership and defend the assault from corporate buyouts onto the American dream buy creating legislation that prevents banks from buying up neighborhoods and jacking up the rent.

And once they’re done with the banks, they could dig into whether or not the FDA is actually doing its job, or if all the pills Americans are being fed to improve their mental health are actually helping; and if they aren’t, why are pharmaceutical companies profiting billions off them? And once we’ve removed ourselves from the delusion that a pill is going to solve our woes, maybe we can start having real discussions on how to deal with the multitude of causes affecting our mental health as a nation as well as more supportive treatment that allows those of us unable to get through the difficulties we’re faced real help.

But if our government was getting really creative and thinking about what’s truly best for the People, they’d fund programs designed to refurbish the most dilapidated parts of our country to offer both homes and employment opportunities to both homeless families and people desperate for an opportunity to start fresh economically. We have the resources to do these things, and we have plenty of run-down neighborhoods across the country in need of care; the only thing stopping this from happening is real Americans standing up to take on the duties of leadership their country requires from them and making the decisions necessary for something like this to happen.

Now there is clearly more that can be done to solve the homelessness problem in America, but again, it is my goal to start conversations and not end them. What absolutely must happen for anything in this country to get better is for real Americans to recognize that they only way our self-governed republic survives is if we, the People, take back the roles of leadership that we’ve left into the hands of corporate power for far too long. Fixing homelessness can often be solved at the local level, and running for local office is not as difficult or expensive as you might think. All it really takes is the dedication to make tomorrow better than it is today and determination to do that for others.  There are over 500,000 elected offices in America, which may sound like a lot, but it’s actually only 2 tenths of a percent of our population. That means we don’t need everyone to run for office, but what we do need is everyone to unite behind those that are willing to take on corporate backed tyrants and restore America to a nation of, by, and for the People. So if you or someone you know has what it takes to be a leader, think about what you can do for your Nation, because your leadership is needed now more than ever.  Thank you.