The coronavirus pandemic has taken something from everyone -- whether it was a job, physical or mental health, the ability to see loved ones, or even life itself, we have all lost something. With the emergence of the delta variant and only a 50% vaccination rate in the United States, that sense of loss isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And now, at the quickly approaching end of July, 2021, a "tidal wave" of loss is threatening over 3 million people in the U.S. when the federal eviction moratorium ends and mass evictions -- and homelessness -- begins.
Sign the petition and demand that Congress immediately route funding to provide housing for already and soon to be displaced folks!
There are already over 550,000 people in the nation living "in a state of homelessness." Like medical care, food, and water, housing is a necessity and a human right -- every living person deserves the security of a roof over their heads. It provides safety, dignity, and a chance to thrive. A lack of housing is also a health risk -- the average life expectancy of an unhoused individual is just 50 years old, compared to the nationwide average of 78 years. It is overwhelmingly acknowledged in medical communities that homelessness leads to worse health outcomes. Especially during a pandemic that has already taken over 600,000 lives, an eviction could be a death sentence.
The nature of housing in the United States was already an unbalanced playing field before this massive health turned economic crisis. Rent continues to go up, real estate prices climb, and the billions of dollars in aid allocated for those in need have barely been distributed while big banks that control mortgage and interest rates were bailed out within days of COVID-19 being declared a national emergency.
This eviction moratorium has been extended as the pandemic has continued, and the last thing we need is for it to lapse now -- but it is extremely unlikely that it will be extended again. Even so, homelessness will continue long after the pandemic, just as it began long before it. In 2019, our federal government determined that there were nearly "17 million potential homes" that were unoccupied. The just over half a million homeless folks in the country wouldn't even fill 3% of those empty homes. There is clearly a way to secure every single unhoused person in this country in a comfortable, safe, dignified space -- not only is it the right thing to do, but it immediately increases their chances of employment, securing credit, receiving training or education, and one day being able to go through the avenues of securing housing that many of us take for granted. Have you ever tried to apply for a rental without a current permanent address? What about vote without an ID with your permanent address on it? How about apply for a job without somewhere that they can contact you? Homelessness denies people full access to society. It's time that our federal government changed that.
Sign the petition and demand that before the federal eviction moratorium ends on July 31, 2021, Congress passes legislation to provide immediate funding for housing all current and future homeless folks!