Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May on Cape Cod, No Vacation for Poor People

Which is more shameful?
  • That 250 low-income families have been living in motels in Yarmouth, MA, some of them for over a year, because they can't afford to rent any apartment in town?
  • That the Yarmouth Selectmen passed a "law that prohibits motel owners from renting units beyond 30 consecutive days to customers without a permanent address, according to the Boston Globe? (The law is clearly aimed at making people move out of town--but it may put them on the streets, instead.)
  • That the chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen says, "This is about shutting down dangerous, substandard, health-hazard-inducing housing," when there had been no health violation at any of the three motels? Or that a resident says "There are drug overdoses and other problems, and I don't want to see any police officer get shot," when the deputy police chief says there's no special problem with the motels--other than the fact that poor people are living there?
  • That homeless shelters are so scary, people choose to crowd into motel rooms?
  • Or that in the richest nation in the world, we can find the money to kill Iraqis but not the money to house our neighbors?

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