Letters to the Editor: Microloans can prevent homelessness. Government leaders, are you listening? Please, take a moment to read the letters below and consider supporting microloans, starting now. While you’re at it, please go to this website and read the original, poignant article by the founder, Tim Boyle, whose microfinance work has not only revolutionized the field, but has allowed more than a million young people in developing nations to escape the cycle of despair and poverty. It has also inspired the founder to start his own nonprofit organization to provide microloans and services to people who are the same age as me, to support their own families, and provide them with the opportunity to work hard and build their own lives. If you have the time to read and share these letters with others, you will be helping millions of people escape the cycle of poverty and hope.
The need to address the crisis of homelessness is obvious.
Yet the solutions to this problem have been either uninspiring or misguided.
At the same time, many social service agencies are underfunded, and some are closed down by the government — who is actually in control of funds for social services, is it not?
For example, I know the City of Fort Lauderdale received $500,000 of federal stimulus funds, to fund a homeless prevention and education program. We were not told why, but some may argue that this is a failure of the city.
We did not get a response from the city as to where this money was going, and we didn’t know, when we applied for this grant, that the federal money is not the only available funding. I have no confidence that the City of Fort Lauderdale will spend or direct this money equally, properly, or effectively. After all, it already has the funds for the program.
Let’s take a look at the government’s funding of homelessness.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States “sustains 20% of the world’s