I’m pretty certain that most folks from the Volunteer State are quite glad that Dallas is not in Tennessee–no matter what the songwriter might have said:
Before the sun came out Thursday morning, thousands of people had gathered around the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in the Red Bird area.
The reward: a spot on a waiting list for Dallas County housing vouchers to help them pay the rent.
When, at 6 a.m., officials said it was time to form a line, a frantic rush ensued — the latest sign of people’s desperation for help in tough times. There were no serious injuries, but video footage of the chaos received national attention.
Desperation, or a desire to get something for just about nothing?
If one takes the time to read through all of the stories, one gets the requisite hardship stories–though what is unsaid is often damning. Take this one:
Tashia Moss of Richardson has a job as a home health worker — but it does not provide enough to cover basic expenses.
“I work; I just don’t make enough money,” said the 32-year-old, who is trying to support two teenagers.
Teenagers are not able to help support themselves? And, does the lady not make enough money, or has she made lifestyle choices whereby she does not spend little enough money?
Then, there is this little kernel of logic:
Zachary Thompson, the county’s director of health and human services, said the turnout once again demonstrates the need for the Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as Section 8. By the end of the day, about 5,000 households had applied. Applicants for the housing vouchers are not required to live in Dallas County.
So, if I announce free tickets to the SuperBowl and thousands of people show up, the turnout demonstrates the need for free SuperBowl tickets? C’mon, people, use a little sense here.
Since one of these vouchers allows the holder to pay 30% of the family’s annual adjusted gross income, the savings (aka taxpayer funds) which are available to those who hold the vouchers can be thousands of dollars per year. And, the holder’s families have a vested interest in ensuring that no one earns too much (see the bit about teenagers working/not working) because that would raise the rent.
Please do understand that I realize there are people with real needs whom some of these vouchers help. I am objecting to the process, the principle and the underlying logic behind this program. Where are the families and churches who have a responsibility to care for those who are truly unable to care for themselves? And where is the understanding that being poor does not absolve one of basic responsibilities?