Post originally published on Change.org
Disclaimer: This is fake. It is satire. It is the announcement we dream of hearing. This was inspired by the documentaryThe Yes Men Fix the World, about the pranksters that call themselves The Yes Men and go after fatcats. In one scene of the film, they created a “Special Edition” of the New York Times that contained news stories they wished to read. With articles entitled “Iraq War Ends“ and “All Public Universities to Be Free,” it was “All the News We Hope to Print.”
Obama is on a roll. After the historic step in the right direction that is health care reform, President Barack Obama today declared an end to homelessness in the United States of America. Not in five or ten years. Now. As the sun shone down on the White House rose garden at noon, accompanied by homeless men, women and children, President Obama smiled widely and said: “It is a new day in America. For far too long, indeed for decades, government has been managing the problem of homelessness. Not working to solve it. All that changes today.”
The President continued: “For the first year of my tenure as President, I have been relying on my advisers to create homeless policies without really doing an investigation for myself. Last week I decided to go on a tour, if you will, of several homeless shelters in Washington, D.C. to speak with the people my policies have been affecting. I visited a men’s shelter, women’s shelter and a family shelter. What I found was startling. I spoke with Ben, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran who has been homeless for a decade. He’s been on the streets for years and finally decided to enter the shelter system last year and seek help. To date, he has only met with his case manager three times and has never been presented with housing options. I also met with June, a 33-year-old single mother of three, who is currently working two jobs and still her income falls below the poverty level. She can’t afford to rent an apartment and her pride keeps her from applying for public assistance.
How do we solve the problem of homelessness in this great country of ours? By prioritizing people. And by using the tools we already have. Most importantly, there are affordable housing and supportive housing, which, as many of you know, is affordable housing with support on site, such as case workers and doctors to provide services to the residents. Comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services are crucial for our most vulnerable Americans.
Where will the housing come from? There are currently thousands of abandoned buildings and vacant lots throughout the country. They have been unused for years and wasting away. We are going to put those properties to good use. Old buildings will be renovated. New buildings will rise on the vacant lots. Construction companies that provide job opportunities to homeless persons will be prioritized for construction bids. And, the faster the buildings are constructed or renovated, the more the companies will be paid.
We will also be prioritizing jobs and education. Every homeless person will be afforded the opportunity to participate in education and job training programs of their choosing. If you don’t have your high school diploma, we’ll help you to obtain it. If you don’t have your associates degree, we’ll help you to obtain it. If you don’t have your bachelor’s degree, we’ll help you to obtain it. Tuition at these programs, schools and public universities will be on a reasonable sliding scale and in many cases free. We will also provide tax rebates to any private schools that participate in this program.
I know the question most of you are waiting to ask. Other than, of course, ‘Have you lost your mind?’ [Laughs from the media and assembled guests.] The question you want to ask is ‘Where will the money come from?’ My answer to you is we will find the money. I’ve been in talks with the leaders of the House and Senate, the governors of all 50 states, and many of the mayors of the cities most affected by the tragedy of homelessness, and they are all supporting this initiative. If the government can find billions of dollars to fight unnecessary wars and send rockets into outer space, surely we can find the money to be compassionate towards our fellow man.”
Cheers rang out from the homeless men, women and children accompanying the President. Today certainly is a new day in America.
To read the post on Change.org, click here.