Folks that know me, know that I’m pretty passionate about “Affordable Housing.” Is it because I’m some screaming, leaning liberal? Naaa. Ok, maybe. But really, it’s because I know the impact that having a safe place to live can have on an individual, a family and a community. In fact, for those of you that remember, you might think back to when you learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Remember that chart?
The most important needs are those “physiological needs” that is air, water and food. Also included in those are clothing and shelter. After that is safety, feeling safe from war, disaster, family violence and abuse, and being secure personally, financially, and healthy.
We need these core, most important needs met in order to succeed, to participate fully in society, and to grow. When these needs aren’t met people cannot function properly, families struggle, and there is a high likelihood of failure – at home, work, and at life.
But there is a personal reason for my interest. You see, when I was young, my father left and my mother was left to be a single mom caring for 2 young children. With little money to her name she moved us halfway across the country in order to be closer to some of our family. She struggled to find affordable housing (that was partially subsidized), took on several jobs, and did what she could to often put food on the table for us, and not her. I still remember those days in our little apartment in St. Louis, while mom worked so hard, and struggled so much. I was old enough to see her feed us, but “not eat because she wasn’t hungry.” I understood that times were pretty tough, but never did this strong and resilient woman let us know how really difficult a time it was. She is an amazing individual, to not only have survived during a time when we had so very little resources, but she found a way to hide the complexity and difficulty of that life from us. Moms are often martyrs; strong impenetrable forces of will – and that’s what she was to us, never letting us know that we counted as any less, than anyone else. And single moms, you rule. I have no idea how you do it. She’s the reason I fight so hard for those who struggle, because I wish there were more folks fighting back then, for her. Read More…