First, a little trivia: please take the time to Google “Workers Progress Association.” In this particular chapter of our history, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the WPA at a time when we were in a depression, homelessness was rampant, people had no jobs and families were torn apart, similar to the conditions we are experiencing today. His program was embodied by every state in the union. After several successful years, the program was dissolved because it successfully achieved the intended goals.

In short, it gave unemployed people jobs; our highways, bridges, infrastructure, in general, were the result of that vision. Rather than politicians spending billions on campaigning for votes, those dollars should be spent resolving existing issues, not creating more issues. If our Bible is our moral compass, our history should be our social and economic compass.

I cannot remember which president had a sign on his wall (maybe Truman or FDR, can’t remember) but it read, “He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it” — this comes in the category of lessons learned.

I guess my real concern is that homelessness is now an anomalous situation and, on a grand scale, nationwide. Communities can (and do), at times, provide food, used clothing, shelter in bad weather, but those are temporary fixes. Our charitable organizations are mostly bankrupt and we’re running out of Band-Aids. In this current economy, citizens are strapped for cash donations, barely eking out a living for themselves. The arrows all point to the big guns: a government-inspired program(s) similar to the WPA which could both provide jobs and rebuild our infrastructure at the same time.

We need to remind our “elected” politicians that, yes, there is a resolution to this problem. Because politicians never discuss this problem doesn’t mean there is no problem. To me, their silence is deafening.

Connie Lambert lives in Hillcrest.


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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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