Billions Stolen From Housing-Deprived Floridians by FL Lawmakers

Don’t tell me you don’t have money, you thieving scum!

Tallahassee, Florida State Capitol, scene of the crime. Photo Diane Nilan

Jeezus, frickin’ thieving slime balls! Florida legislators…

I’ve got plenty of other things to get done, but I want this to get out. Perusing my homelessness newsfeed this morn as I do every day I came across a Florida story that has my blood boiling.

The gist of it is that

since 1992 the Florida legislature has been robbing a trust fund that was supposed to funnel money to help provide affordable housing. Billions, $2.2 bil to be exact. But who’s counting?

According to the Sadowski Housing Coalition,

More than 911,000 very low income Floridians pay more than 50% of their income on housing they are one missed paycheck away from homelessness. Florida has the third largest homeless population in the nation.

I’ve chronicled homelessness in Florida in short documentary films for the past 14 years as my work with HEAR US Inc., my one-woman national nonprofit that gives voice and visibility to families and youth experiencing homelessness. I’ve got skin in the gator-game as I grew up in this dysfunctional vacation state.

Here are a few of my videos:

I listened as this desperate couple begged to get a room at a Disney World area motel. Photo Diane Nilan

The anguish people experience when their housing is severely substandard or jeopardized is indescribable. When families experience housing distress or homelessness, which millions do, they swirl into a world of stress, trauma, and desperation.

To think that Florida legislators have robbed over $2.2 billion from millions of people with dire housing needs since 1992 is abominable! Homelessness has skyrocketed in Florida, with more than 73,000 students experiencing homelessness identified in public schools. That doesn’t include babies, toddlers, older siblings not in school, or those not identified because of shame or fear of child welfare authorities stepping in. Or those at schools where identifying kids in homeless situations isn’t a priority.

Tallahassee shelter. Photo by Diane Nilan

To similarly appalled Florida residents, this article gives you a way to weigh in on this with your lawmakers:

You can help by contacting your House and Senate representatives and asking them to leave the Sadowski fund alone. Visit myfloridahouse.gov and flsenate.gov to find out who they are.

Now to get back to the book about family homelessness that I’m writing with my colleague Yvonne Vissing, professor at Salem State University.

Founder/pres. HEAR US Inc., gives voice & visibility to homeless families & youth, ran shelters, advocate, filmmaker, author, 15 yrs. on US backroads.

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