By Aida Basnight-Peery
Since I’ve been homeless for two years I’m seeing more new faces of women between the ages of 45 to 70 years of age that are in shelters every day. What baffles me is when I read an article in “The Examiner” about how “taxpayers won’t get a dime of the $417 million dollar surplus” and that D.C., our nation’s capital, with a town full of lawmakers, is allowing the Mayor to put $417 million dollars aside for a rainy day? I guess Mayor Vincent Gray doesn’t like homeless people. If he did he would take some of that money and build apartments and homes for people who have low incomes and people like myself who has an income as a Street Sense Vendor shouldn’t have to try to convince some property manager “just because I don’t have a pay stub” in order to find suitable housing for myself and family. I would love to give my shelter bed to someone else that is in need because they became homeless overnight. After two years of being homeless myself it would be a blessing to reach into my purse for my house keys and shut the door behind me. A $417 million dollar surplus shouldn’t go back into homeless shelters or to build more shelters, but to build the personal human hope, dignity and integrity of every homeless person and their family. For the mentally, ill they should build group homes and hire professionals who can help with their needs. I think it’s a damned shame in our nation’s capital that has tourism from all around the globe, adjoining the 51 States of America, has to see homeless men, women and families living in the streets or in shelters in Washington D.C. Mayor Gray doesn’t see how $417 million dollar surplus can help the homeless epidemic of Washington D.C.? Mayor Vincent Gray you are FIRED! Eleanor Holmes isn’t off the hook either because she should be speaking up for homeless families and individuals of Washington D.C. Instead of always talking about Washington D.C. as a home rule or statehood. If Congress/Senate decides that Washington D.C. receives statehood, we still got a problem called “Homelessness” and people are still sleeping in the streets.