West: Homelessness poised to grow everywhere | Morrison County File


It’s easy to be disturbed by all the bullets flying around the Twin Cities, many of which hit innocent passers-by. There is a strong expectation that more, not less, law enforcement will be ahead.

Don’t hold your breath. The police fundraising move endorsed by most Minneapolis City Council members continues. No candidate for mayor of Minneapolis in the November election has been called a candidate for public order.

Having said that, it may be time to look for other ways to restore peace to the Twin Cities. If one really wants to get depressed about the situation, I recommend reading “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond. His book, How Milwaukee’s Homeless Came Like This, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction.

What is happening in Milwaukee is undoubtedly similar to what is happening in Minneapolis. Yes, drugs can play a role, but not always. Some homeless people are also dedicated practitioners. Most of the people characterized are single mothers. Their companions are often incarcerated. They may have two or three children before the age of 21 and may have grown up in violent and poor homes themselves.

Either way, they need a place to live. In Minneapolis, the average monthly rent is around $ 1,559. For a one-bedroom unit, the average is $ 1,195. One may be able to get an apartment for something less than that. In 2019, the median rent (different from the average) was $ 1,016.

If they understand the real estate economy, the poor will know that spending more than 30% of their income on rent can condemn them to be “housing poor”. Desmond reports that in Milwaukee, it was not uncommon for poor people to spend 70-80% of their income on housing. Many were left with only $ 100-200 a month for things like food, medical bills, bus tickets, etc. If you have a job for $ 12 an hour, say 35 hours a week, that’s $ 21,840 a year. Do the math, and this poor person can afford to pay rent of $ 546 per month (30% of their income) and that assuming their working hours are not reduced, that they have no bills. important to a family member or that they do not cause any damage to property.

Too often, however, something goes wrong and they fall behind on their rent. Desmond writes that in general, the poor do not call the city’s housing inspector if a landlord is late in making repairs, because being behind on rent, the landlord will then come to evict them instead of work with them to get caught up. An eviction on his file makes it even more difficult to find another rental.

Last summer, you may remember, a number of parks in Minneapolis were taken over by the homeless. If you think homelessness is just a subway phenomenon, you are wrong. Homeless people are becoming a challenge everywhere. With house prices soaring during the current boom, you can expect homelessness to increase as the economy slows down as well.

As it stands, a HOME Line study of Minnesota evictions between 2015 and 2017 found that while the eviction rate was 3.3% in the Twin Cities metro, it was still 1.6% in the Greater Minnesota. This represented approximately 16,000 evictions statewide, including 7,750 out of state and 8,250 on the subway. In 13 counties in central Minnesota, the eviction rates were as follows: Wright, 3.53%; Sherburne, 3.27%; Benton, 3.05%; Thousand Lakes, 2.82%; crow’s wing, 2.77%; Morrison, 2.41%; Sweet, 2.39%; Stearns, 1.83%; Kandiyohi, 1.72%; Cass, 1.54%; Wadena, 1.31%; Todd, 1.12%; and Pape, 0.80%. In these 14 counties combined, an average of 1,460 evictions were carried out each year.

Have you ever thought about where these people are going or do you just say, “They made bad decisions and are suffering the consequences?

For more than a year, Governor Tim Walz has put in place a moratorium on evictions due to the pandemic. In January, the Minnesota Department of Commerce estimated that nearly 70,000 Minnesota residents were behind on their rent. Lawrence McDonough, an assistant law professor at the University of Minnesota, estimates that once the moratorium is lifted, 13,330 eviction notices will be served in the first month. The homeless problem is about to get much bigger.

As Desmond says, a nation is just a collection of towns and villages. A city or a village is just a collection of neighborhoods. And a neighborhood is just a collection of houses. He writes, “America is meant to be a place where you can improve yourself, your family and your community. But this is only possible if you have a stable house.

Deportation takes a toll on the human spirit, leading many people to depression and even suicide. A mother from Milwaukee has moved seven times in two years; is it any wonder that her children have fallen behind in school? Desmond writes: “Losing your home and your possessions and often your job; be stamped with an eviction file and be denied government housing assistance; relocating to degrading housing in poor and dangerous neighborhoods; and suffer increased material hardship, homelessness, depression and illness – these are the fallout from the eviction.

I’m not saying here that we shouldn’t have evictions. Homeowners must also invest in housing. However, when you wonder why crime is increasing, take a look at the housing situations from which these criminals originated.

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