$78,000 in federal investment housing dollars wasted.
This is rent for close to 20 homeless youth. Mismanaged.
Further research shows a depth of ineptitude. Sit back. Let me call some people out.
Accountability. You should have never requested the investment. You should have never cashed the checks.
Let's get into it.
New federal report on expiring federal investment dollars broken down by state in this country. Florida managed to shamefully rack up a $1.08 million worth of investment dollars.
This is not money owed to the federal government. This is money left on the table. Unused.
And if not drawn to be committed to housing activities by 9/22/16, all of it will be sent back to the Treasury Department. To sit further. Return to sender. Undeliverable. No forwarding address. Vacant lot.
It's so bad, getting recipients to just spend the money they requested is 50% of the battle. The other 50% of the battle is going behind them to make sure investments appropriated for homeless youth aren't spent on homeless families. Or vice-versa. And there is plenty of that nonsense going on.
Enough said. So that's that.
Orange County has $146K sitting with the Central FL HANDS organization. And how they cannot figure out how to pay rent for low-income people or homeless youth with $146K in the bank is beyond me.
$146K can move 20 homeless youth into their own apartments if 10 of them bring a roommate. 25 or 30 of them if you get really aggressive. 40 or 50 if you get cute with it.
So let me get this straight. They first applied for it. Described the housing activities they would do with it. Then got the investment dollars. Then turned around and sat scratching their heads about how to spend it.
Are we freaking insane? Uh, how about for the housing activities that you chirped about in your application. Is that a plausible start?
This is the kind of ineptitudinal dysfunction that really yanks my chain. I can go sit at the World of Beer this weekend, eating hot wings, watching the game, in flip-flops and cutting checks for rent/utilities/deposits or whatever and spend $146K in housing activities.
And yes, it is just that simple. Especially, when the investment dollars are just sitting there in an account.
Then these people find themselves on a shame list from the federal government. The very investors who gave you the dollars. Tapping them on the shoulder. To say, hey genius, either spend the money that you requested, and we gave you, or give it back.
Let me explain it another way.
That's like having kids throw hissy-fits about getting an allowance for this stuff, that stuff. Then you take the time out, have a discussion with the Mr. or Mrs., crunch some numbers, set aside money in the budget and give it to them.
A month later, they're sitting in the room with their lips poked out. You ask what's the matter. They say they don't have enough money to buy this or that. You say, nonsense. Use the money we gave you. That you asked for. That's why we gave it to you.
Then they sit there in confusion talking about they now don't know what they want to buy.
I'd be annoyed too. Look, either spend it or give it back. Then these same ingrates will have the audacity, the unmitigated gall, the temerity, to turn around and complain to all their friends about what horrible parents they have because they don't give them enough money for the stuff they want to buy.
Give me a freaking break. That's asinine. That's petulant. That's childish.
This is the most stupid problem to have in our homelessness initiatives. Inventory not maximized. Vacant units. Undeveloped land. Complexes that need rehabilitating.
Mix that with billions of dollars going unused for such immediate housing needs. All across Florida. All across this country.
But you will not see this kind of story in the Orlando Sentinel.
Because the purpose of the current narrative surrounding our homeless youth is to make your heart bleed for the pitiful poor homeless youth. Who have no resources available to get them off the street.
Not to give the homeless youth, the citizens, the taxpayers, the housing developers, the businesses, the organizations and every other community stakeholder in this arena any actual facts.
This is not about a lack of resources. It is about a lack of resourcefulness.
A lack of commitment. A lack of passion. A lack of intestinal fortitude.
To get things done with what you have. To create opportunities out of challenges. To set high standards when none exist.
To accept nothing less for what you believe is right.
Because it is never wrong to do the right thing. Never.
More to come.