The federal government, again, telling us to get it together. 2016 spending bill increases funding for the homeless by $115 million. Up to $33 million for projects geared toward homeless youth.
No more required documentation that they are homeless. Those living with abusers and traffickers can receive federal investment dollars.
The bill would require a balancing of priorities among the homeless population. This will bring the homeless youth up on the budgetary priority list.
$500 million more to school districts to increase transportation efforts for homeless youth. $10 million more under the Runaway & Homeless Youth Act and McKinney-Vento Act Education For Homeless Youth & Children Act.
With more effort to change policy, everyone would use the same definition of homeless youth across the board. And when investment dollars are "up to" a certain amount, homeless youth need to get the maximum dollars.
A separate federal bill just passed last month that increased federal funding by $42.5 million specifically for homeless youth.
We need people who willing to articulate a plan to end homeless youth epidemic. Not shrink under the expectations like the CEO of Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, Andrae Bailey.
And cannot articulate a Call to Action plan as evidenced by leaving that section blank. How frightfully stupid is that. And they are supposed to lead this initiative.
Good luck with that. I wouldn't work with those people if they paid me a 6-digit salary. There's no way you can consistently expose your skills & abilities to that kind of stupid. Without it somehow contaminating your intelligence. And your ability to reason. And your common sense.
You would spend 80% of your time trying to purify stupid. And the other 20% in complete disbelief. That these people who are in positions to know better. Will continue in that stupid perpetuity of stupid for all their years on this earth.
So Mr. Bailey, if you can't find it in yourself to articulate a plan of action for the homeless in this state, then stick a sock in it. We tired of seeing you on tv. We tired of reading about you in the newspaper.
That's why I go to bed pissed off. And wake up pissed off. And pissed off in between.
You have the financial resources right at your disposal. You have the research right in your report. You have the data right in your report.
You have a strategic layout right in your report. You have everything that is wrong with this state as it pertains to approaching homelessness right in your report. And all the ways to correct it. Right in your own report.
And you tell the taxpayers of this state and the homeless youth that an action plan is "rough". Then you leave the entire section blank.
Not one goal. Not one performance measurement. Not one action item to begin implementing. Nothing. Nada.
You couldn't even just set a goal date for yourselves on when it will be completed. For the love of Pete. Good Lord. That's cowardice. That's spineless.
140 so-called leaders. So-called experts. Agency heads. Elected officials. Can't even capitulate to a goal date to finish it. It's like watching a bunch of petulant 8 yr olds on the playground.
Where's the leadership in that? Go ahead. Tell me. This is not some construction plan for roads and bridges. These are our kids. Homeless. Find your pulse.
What's the hell the matter with these people?
But the Governor, the Legislature, state agencies, county administrations, city administrations, philanthropic investors, school districts, hospitals, businesses, banks, real estate developers, etc. will read our plan of action.
And will invest in our homeless youth. We are going to make this a priority. And if we have ride them like Zorro, they will invest in our homeless youth. And make them a priority.
We are not against these so-called leaders. These administrators. We are not against Andrae Baily and Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. We don't even personally know most of these people. Probably really nice people.
But we are against their approach. We are against their cowardice. We are against their refusal to make this a priority.
If those who wish to end homelessness among our youth, our agencies & programs would come together with their entire budgets on the table. Put all the goodies on the table.
No more of "this is mine". No more of "this is my need".
It becomes everyone's resources. Everyone's needs. We take all the resources and meet the needs. If we do that, we would put an end to this in 12 months.
But our agencies are not serious about this. Our top administrators are not serious about this. But our communities are serious about this.
And our homeless youth are serious about this. It will not be easy. Some will not be able to cut the mustard. They must have a strong desire to succeed. That resilience. That focus. That drive.
The stakes are high. So the expectations are just as high.
Given a permanent home with support, 100% of them will graduate or obtain a GED. 100% of them will go to college. Vocational school. Even the military.
Some will become doctors. Some will become attorneys. Some will become social workers. Others will become graphic design artists.
Completely changing the entire direction of their lives.
If we were in this for the money, we would be silent. At best. If we were in this to be popular, we would say nothing.
We don't want any part of this conformity. We are not taking a budgetary backseat to no one. We are not taking an investment back-burner to no one.
We have to stand true to who we are as a community. We are going to say what needs to be said. Unapologetic.
And let the chips fall where they may. That's where we are at, people.
After this 2015 calendar year, one might have thought that this "thing" with the homeless youth might pass. But after some contemplating. We genuinely believe that we do not want to go back to what our lives were like prior to this passion.
It's sacred. It's holy. It's pure. It's raw. It's cleared up so much in our lives.
And 2016 will change the lives of 100 homeless youth forever.