Every major city in the United States has their issues. What defines them is how they deal with the problems and work towards a solution.
In the case of Tulsa, the rise in homelessness has risen by seven percent in the past decade. It’s not uncommon to see many people with carts loaded with sleeping bags and assortments of garbage roaming the outer streets of the city. Problems like this are not easily solvable; that is, until Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum came up with a brilliant idea.
One of Bynum’s solution: Maybe we shouldn’t evict everyone.
Via The Tulsa World:
In Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises,” a hard-drinking World War I veteran named Mike Campbell has somehow squandered a fortune.
“How did you go bankrupt?” one character asks.
“Two ways,” Campbell responds. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
Last week, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum launched a massive strategic planning process to “end homelessness,” or at least come up with a plan to end homelessness. More than 300 people from more than 100 different agencies attended the kickoff event at the Greenwood Cultural Center, where the mayor reminded everyone that Tulsa is already doing a lot to help the homeless but not doing enough. The homeless population has grown 7 percent over the past decade.
Moving past the shameless plug of Ernest Hemingway, Mayor Bynum is working on a plan to end homelessness in his city. According to data from Eviction Lab, Tulsa is ranked no. 11 in highest eviction rates in the United States. So when one of your solutions is essentially telling landlords to relax on rent, maybe you’re only scratching the surface.
Oh, but the facepalms didn’t stop there.
“The best way to end homelessness, however, is to prevent it, Bynum told the crowd last week. And prevention requires prediction. You have to see it coming if you want to stop it.”
This would be like me telling Macaulay Culkin’s character in My Girl that, if you stay away from the bees, perhaps you might live a little longer. Also, could you imagine standing in the crowd listening to Bynum speak on poverty? It would be hard not to openly laugh as he attempted to wax poetically on homelessness.
“Homelessness seems to hit people suddenly. One day, they have a place to live; the next, they don’t, spiraling into crisis like a tornado swooping down without warning.”
The idea of simply not evicting someone is a little solution to an ever-expanding issue. Take me for example. I’m a college student living with his girlfriend in a moderately-cheap apartment in Oklahoma City. We both have full-time jobs and we go to school just to afford living in the complex. We’re considered fortunate compared to some people who are living on minimum wage and can’t pay a bill one month or rent the next.
Perhaps it would be best to look at cost of living standards before you throw someone on their ass.
Don’t get us wrong, we applaud Bynum for at least thinking about the homeless. Such a thought is considered progressive for most Oklahoma politicians; however, if you’re going to try and solve homelessness, maybe you should think bigger than just evicting people.