Richard R. Troxell is President of House the Homeless, an educational and advocacy group that was founded in Austin, TX in 1989. Their mission is education and advocacy surrounding all issues of homelessness.
Richard has been striving to end homelessness since he first saw it come into existence as a mortgage foreclosure preventionist in Philadelphia in the 1980s. His work has been recognized by HUD, Texas Governor Ann Richards, the Pennsylvania Senate and the United Nations. He has also received the Five Who Care Award and the JC Penny Golden Rule Award, among countless others. Having designed a paradigm change for homeless service delivery, he secured $100,000 from former Texas Governor George Bush for the jobs component.
You can listen to this episode at this link.
Richard, thank you for being on the show. And thank you for the work you do and sharing your story and the story of many others in your great book: Looking up at the Bottomline.
Zane, thank you for the opportunity to come back once again. I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other and this is a great opportunity. We’re just happy to be here today.
We wanted to have this 2nd show before now. But you’ve been involved in some high level initiatives. Bring us up to speed with what you’ve been working on since February.
Sure. We, House the Homeless, did a survey. We’re always doing surveys of the homeless community. We had done an investigation about who can work and who wants to work. We did some subsequent questions about health. We found that 48% of the homeless citizens we surveyed were unable to work. We need to focus on those people for a moment.
We live in Austin, Texas. We have an ordinance called No Sit - No Lie. People aren’t allowed to sit or lie down on the sidewalks. We were very concerned after looking at some of these health conditions. Congestive heart failure, neuropathy of the legs, diabetes, major health concerns. We said:
“Well, there must be exceptions to this ordinance, right, for these people.”
Turned out there wasn’t.
We pulled out different things and came to realize that this local law was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And, so we said we should just open this up for those exceptions. If a doctor says a person is disabled or the federal government or the VA or Social Security Administration says that this person is disabled then this person should have an exception.
And all of this was rejected.
So, we called for public benches. This seemed a common sense way of solving this without having any problem. People having a problem could sit down, take a rest and then move on.
That was a rejected by a number of stakeholders in the discussion.
But we persevered for over a year to come to what I believe to come to a workable compromise. The disabled, those who can show that they have a disability and have documentation, that if they are having an event associated with that disability then they are permitted to sit down for a period of 30 minutes without receiving one of these tickets. And the tickets run between $200 and $500.
This ordinance went into effect this past Monday. We don’t know what the effect will be. But we do believe it’s a more civilized approach. It doesn’t leave us sitting and lying down willy-nilly as folks do in Los Angeles, which we feel is unacceptable. But, nonetheless, we feel it acknowledges the disabled and some of them need to sit down and it gives them a 30-minute respite to do that and then get up and move on.
You know, we talked about it briefly before the show. While this seems so inadequate to address the challenge, it is a good first step for everyone in the community.
Imagine if there were benches and seats for anyone to sit and talk to their neighbor and have a conversation with a stranger or the person around the corner. Mix and mingle in a diverse community. What would be wrong with that?
And we think that’s just a civilized approach.
We are continuing to press for benches. Whether you’re a homeless person or a pregnant mom toting Christmas packages, that you should be able to sit down in a civilized fashion, as you suggest, and have that little time-out. Then move along with your business after that.
That’s what we’ve been doing. It just took an inordinate amount of time with stakeholder meetings after stakeholder meetings. Everyone’s got a say because they are part of the community. We support that part. But now we have a compromise in place and we will see how that works over the next 6 months when this gets reviewed again.
Now, the idea rumbling around in my head is...I’m a big fan of Twitter. Love it. Twitter is almost similar in that respect. You come and spend 30 minutes, interact with strangers, pass some news back and forth, share some gossip, tell a joke or a story. And then move on about your day.
And just having that chance to mingle with a random group of people presents such a great opportunity to share ideas and solutions and connections.
Awright, there’s my non-sequitur.
What's in it for us, as individuals and collectively as a nation to care about homelessness?
This may be the most important question you can ask. We’re all ego-centric. How does it effect me?
As an individual on a spiritual level, this affords me the opportunity to help my fellow human beings. What we’re talking about doing is taking the Federal Minimum Wage and tweaking that in such a way so that somebody working 40 hours a week would be able to afford food, shelter, clothing, wherever that work is done throughout the US.
Not just in a conceptual way, but in a meat and potatoes kind of way, we’re all involved. As an American, as a businessman, we’re all effected by homelessness. 3.5 million people will experience homelessness at some point during the next 12 months. The very existence of this pool of people compromises our socio-economic base. in other words, these folks, these workers make up the backbone of our working force.
They’re digging our ditches. They serve our children in their cafeterias. They take tickets at the movie theater. They’re parking our cars. As farm-workers, they’re putting food on our tables. As daycare workers, they’re taking care of our children. They run the world’s largest fast-food operation at McDonald’s and the world’s largest retail operation: Wal-Mart.
These folks are nurse’s aides. They’re maids, bank tellers, landscape workers, security guards, and they’re elder care aides. Medical emergency vehicle operators. These people comprise the backbone of America.
And the interesting thing about this is that none of these jobs can be outsourced. You have to be on-site to clean the urinals, take care of our most prized possessions which are our infants. There is nothing more admirable than Americans serving Americans with our labor.
I’ll give you an example. I would say this that without them there would be no advancement in our society. They are the support-workers and the support industries that allow our nation to go forward and lead the world with all of our innovations and creativity. They allow us to enjoy our basic way of life.
Allowing these workers to exist in what amounts to economically-destabilized fashion means that our small businesses suffer that very same condition as the workers do.
As it stands now, by the 4th year, three out of five new businesses fail. Those, from my perspective, is it’s not because they don’t have good business plans or the owner isn’t working from dawn to way past dark. It’s because the workers are economically de-stabilized which leads to absenteeism and employee turn-over.
That’s why we should care.
You know, moving towards a crass economics perspective, that’s 3.5 million people who don’t have enough money to drive our consumer-based economy.
If you look at our website, from all the studies we’ve found, if you have just a basic increase in the minimum wage then 97 - 98% of all of the increase goes right back into the goods that those people are lacking. That’s an economic engine. That’s how to stimulate the economy.
The number one thing these folks don’t have is housing. We’re not making any affordable housing relative to that market because there is no market because they don’t have any money.
But, if you were to put housing money in their pockets then you would create that market. Local economies, construction companies, housing companies, across the nation. We’d create that housing. Boom! We’d stimulate the housing construction industry. Boom. That alone would get this nation moving again.
That’s such a great source of unemployment and poor performance. Who does a great job at work when you show up not having slept well for the 8th, 9th, 10th night in a row. You become a little bit demoralized, demotivated, tired, cranky. Your flexibility, your ability to adapt to change, drops as your hours of sleep drop.
Early in your book you talk about 3 catalysts that create homelessness. One was unaffordable healthcare. What’s the relationship with unaffordable healthcare and homelessness?
Right now, in those cities where people are lucky enough, not a small town, you gotta get into a small city where you see clinics built. The second that wea re able to get a job, whether it’s a living wage job or any job, we become part of the working poor. We’re no longer eligible for that health clinic. And we’re living day-to-day hoping that don’t get the flu, that we don’t get sick on any level. While our employer may be the greatest Joe or Jill in the world, they’re only going to tolerate a day of absenteeism before they replace me. They’ve got to move forward.
That makes me as a worker totally unstable. Totally desperate to have some kind of healthcare program. Something. Even if I contribute with my wage.
We’re all in it together. But there has to be some kind of way where I could be ok and get to the doctor and still report to work so we can get the job done.
What are the other two catalysts that create the millions of homeless?
Well, we touched on it. Obviously, housing. Housing’s the number one thing. We go through these cycles of expansion and contraction. Dragged along with that expansion and contraction is inflation.
And as we move forward and prices start to follow that but one thing we start to see is that the price of housing doesn’t rock back.
Who doesn’t know the story of thecollege student who says:
"I’m going to get an apartment and they’re going to give me a free microwave. I can get an apartment for a month of free rent."
These things are true. But they haven’t lowered th price of that apartment. Who doesn’t know of a realtor who won’t let a property sit fallow for a couple of years and still ask the same price.
So, what’s happened is that the ability to pay and the cost of housing have diverged. They’ve separated. They’ve gone in 2 different directions.
For example when I was growing up, the mid-80’s, you were still able to get a minimum wage job and get into an efficiency apartment and get by. So, now the cost of an housing has separated from that wage. And so there is no ability to do that. Matter of fact, the housing we were accessing, single-room occupancy, we had the YMCA. As a real young man in my early 20’s, the construction guy would hire us and I’d get my spot at the Y and stash my stuff in the room, get a good night sleep, go down the hall and get a shower, then go chase the next day’s work.
That was how so many Americans advanced themselves. No longer are those opportunities there because there’s no SRO’s. There are no places you can afford with that minimum wage.
The Y got out of it. Cheap motels were torn down and replaced with parking lots and condos.
We had all of that change in the nation. No one’s building housing at that level. There’s no money there. There’s no market. You don’t blame anybody for that.
But at the same time the result is that you have people working a full 40-hour week and people still unable to afford a basic rental.
This approach would change that.
That approach is the Universal Living Wage.
That is right. If somebody works 40 hours a week, they’d be able to afford food, clothing and shelter no matter where that work was done in the US.
Your listeners have traveled all over the US. And they know the cost of living is totally different in one city or the other. Because of that, the current approach where the federal government has set a minimum wage of $7.25 for us all, is wholly inappropriate.
The federal minimum wage of $7.25 means no one working a 4-hour week in Washington D.C. and getting paid the minimum wage can afford housing. That’s ridiculous.
But at the same time, if you were to back and try to address that situation by raising it to $10.00 an hour so that person could get housing....well that’s still insufficient to afford housing in DC. And what’s that going to do to the small businessman all across rural America. That would just devastate them.
So, what we’ve done with this formula is make it relate, make the wage relate to the lowest form of housing. I’m talking about an efficiency apartment and you’re getting just one room. It’s all together.
But, it pulls people off of the dole. It gets them off of the street. It draws them into work and makes them ready, willing and able for our businesses to tap into that resources. As opposed to working a 40-hour week and not being able to afford a roof over their head other than a bridge and falling out of the system. Or going on the dole and getting the food-stamps or whatever and not being a player in our work-world.
That’s what we need. We need to have a stabilized workforce so we can have a stabilized businesses. Small businesses are de-stabilized as long as their workers are de-stabilized.
You can go out and make your best business plan for calculating your cost to manufacture, of storage, of advertising and transportation. But when you come down there, the last piece to that economic plan is ‘worker’ and you’re paying $.20 on the dollar less than it takes for them to be stabilized and ok, then you have set yourself up to fail.
Every single piece of that plan needs to have equal importance. And that’s all we’re talking about.
As I hear you talking about your plan, so passionately and eloquently and logically, with excellent data there’s also ringing in my head the voices of those who are unwilling to pay the minimum wage but at the same time want everyone to bootstrap themselves...into mainstream success.
I’ll just tap into that comment and say it’s more destructive than that. We call this the Universal Living Wage because no matter where you work in the US it works. But I think it works throughout the world.
Many countries, certainly our neighbors, we believe that the cause of our immigration problems we’re experiencing today is an economic problem. We see no one pouring across our borders from the north. And that’s because they have a stable economy.
It’s people in our southern economy, our southern border, their economy is destabilized and coming to our country affords them a greater value. We call it the Rule of 8. Eight people come here and share a room for 8 years or longer, risk their lives and pay coyotes to bring them here, and having to hide because we haven’t figured out how to the citizenship issue. So, then they’re in our school system draining our tax system making it impossible for us to plan and calculate how to go forward as small communities, the core of America.
By, creating an Universal Living Wage starting in this nation and then sending economic advisors to Mexico to try and blow life into their economy and industries down there so they can start to pay an adequate minimal amount so that their workers feel that they can live there versus coming up here to our country and inundating us and causing the kinds of stress and anguish and further economic instability? This is something we need to look at.
What are the biggest demographic groups for homeless?
Well, as I said, half of these folks are disabled. And the other half are able to work.
In the disabled group we have mentally ill people, we have people who are suffering substance abuse problems.
Those able to work we have single men, single women. We have single women with children; we have veterans.
We have the fastest growing segment which is single women veterans with children. That’s because of the economics. They’re coming back here destabilized, traumatized. They are no less traumatized than their male counterpart.
When I was in Vietnam, I think the overall was 100 days of engagement. Now, it’s 1000 or more. Now, it’s a year tour, two tours to four or five. But to have even more than one tour is to have an unbelievable emotional trauma.
And we bring people back here. We use these people, young boys and young girls. We engage them in war. One day they are fighting and the next day you expected to go out and get yourself a job.
We don’t have any reintegration policy. You go from 1000 miles an hour to 2 miles an hour. You don’t have the time to process nor the psychological step-down, the counseling, the time to re-enter. Somehow we don’t think that is important.
I know how traumatized I was. I’ve never spoken to anybody who’s been engaged overseas in the military in a conflict or in a war who didn’t go through major emotional trauma. It caused me to be homeless after the war. I was able to stabilize...I gotta tell you it, it must have been 10 years.
You’re there on multiple tours, like that? We basically abandon them by not addressing that. Now, there’s a lot of talk about dealing with the homeless veteran. We have a Department of Veteran Affairs, we have a Department of Defense. It’s an abomination that we have any ANY homeless veterans. These men and women and their families who have sacrificed their life, their time together and now are in that position.
These people...we’ve given them great skills. Work ethic. That’s very ingrained and powerful stuff. And we as employers need to reach out to them, but we need to understand that we cannot take these employees right off the bus or plane and say:
“You’re ready to to work.”
We need a transition piece.
And then we need to reach out as employers and say:
“Hey. I need you. You are the exact kind of person I want working with me.”
You know, as a radio host I shouldn’t have long pauses. But, what you’re saying makes me want to pause for a long, long, time to consider what you are saying.
You wrote a fabulous book. You’re an excellent writer. You do all the things a good writer, a business solutions writer, does. You share anecdotes, make the story personal, back it up with research and you show a convincing timeline of trends and you come forward with a solution.
Why now? Why did you feel compelled to write this book?
I grew up, 1951, greatest nation on earth. When I grew up there was no homeless problem. There might have been skidrow, a guy who had some problems, serious problems. But they were such a small handful.
It wasn’t until the mid-80’s that we coined this phrase: homeless.
When you see people on the sidewalks and in the parks and woods and they’re not working, it’s like you have to ask the question:
“Are we in a declared depression?”
Then you’re seeing other people coming across the border because you’re the greatest country in the world and we want to work. So, why aren’t all these guys working?
And so all of these questions come crashing together. And with me, raising a daughter, Colleen, I don’t want my daughter confronted by someone in the park saying:
“I need your help. Do you have any change?”
Wait. I’m a very compassionate man. I want my daughter to be compassionate. But, I don’t want my daughter confronted by a stranger. Why is that happening? Why does that person feel they have to do that?
And all of that is coming together and you know my life led me through so many changes having come out of Vietnam, worked for consumer justice and learning about the economics of the thing and realizing that over time and repeated time it is basically about economics.
And growing up that was one of the taboo’s. I didn’t know how much my father made. I didn’t know how much was being earned in the marketplace. People didn’t talk about their wages. All of the basics of economics was hidden from us. They were as taboo as talking about sex. We just didn’t do those things.
But, there it was. Everywhere we went it was an economic question in front of us. And now I run a non-profit and I deal with it every day!
Along the way it became clearer and clearer and called me to action. I was hired off the streets by the Legal Services Corporation to get homeless people disability benefits.
I created a program and became Director. I went out and started to give these guys checks.
That was pretty good. I was feeling pretty positive about myself.
“I’m going to end homelessness for that person.”
And then I started to see these guys back at the shelter. I wondered what was going on. Why are they here?
And they’re looking dumbfounded at me and asking:
“Well, did you look at the check?”
Well, it turned out the check was half of the federal minimum wage.
And then I did some research and found out the federal minimum wage was, the US Conference of Mayors had issued a report that said there is nowhere in this country that a person working a full-time job can get into and keep permanent housing at the minimum wage. So, here’s this check for half of that.
How does this make sense? We value a housewife’s work at $130,000 a year for all the plethora of things she does. And at the end, she becomes disabled and we say:
“Here’s your stipend.”
And it’s $674.00, half of the federal minimum wage.
And the mayor’s are saying you can work 40 hours at the federal minimum wage and still not get into permanent housing.
So, let’s look at this federal minimum wage. I researched it back to 1938 following the depression. It made a lot of sense. Their thinking was:
“Let’s insure that those who work 40 hours can afford food, clothing, shelter.”
What I learned was that they didn’t index it to anything. And so, this concept, that worked very well into the mid-80’s when we hit those expanding bubbles of upturns and then later downturns and found that housing was separating. That’s the single most expensive item in our budget. Our ability to pay for that was separating to the point that people no longer had the ability to afford basic rental housing.
If we want our workers to be available to us then we need to insure our workers are not stealing, that they’re not doubling or tripling up with strangers; those relationships always fall apart over time. We need to realize that if they’re flipping burgers at McDonald’s that they’re making enough to get into an efficiency apartment.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 and McDonald’s in our city probably paying $8.00 an hour. But they’re just being competitive with other retail outlets. You need to have a conversation with a human being, with your worker, and ask:
“John, am I paying you enough so that you’re meeting the basics? Oh, no? You’re making up the difference by selling a little pot on the side? That’s cool.”
Well, that’s not cool. And that’s what we foster by not paying them the minimal amount. We make people go elsewhere. I went to the University of Texas and I found 200 staff employees....you know what they pay their football coach? $5 million a year.
Ok. I don’t take any umbrage with that.
But, they had 200 staff employees getting food stamps. I take umbrage with that. We are all members of this community and we have to pay our fair share and and we all have to participate and we all have to have some common sense about this.
And that’s what this Universal Living Wage is about. It’s about a common sense approach to insure that our basic workers and our businesses who rely on their stability are not destabilized because of their being destabilized.
My friend Erika Andersen coined the phrase reasonable aspiration or hoped-for future in her book Being Strategic. And she asks:
What is your reasonable aspiration or hoped-for future?
What was your reasonable aspiration or hoped-for future when you wrote this book?
It’s sorta...I have friends who refer to me as “Don Quixote”. What they’re saying to me is:
“Richard, this will never happen.”
What I want to see happen is homelessness ends as it exists today. And that’s possible because it didn’t exist in my mind when I was growing up.
I want to see us dramatically address the unbridled problem we have with immigration now.
I want to see the small businesses of America, the driving engine of our entire economy which is the leading economy in the entire world, I want to see them fail for other reasons than one that is so simple. That is everybody working and pulling and going as hard as they can. I want to stabilize the small businesses of America. I believe in America. I’m an American. What can I say?
I’m a Marine. I’m a fellow human being. I’m a father. I’m also an American. And it has meaning to me.
I think you’re an early indicator that there’s a shift in our country to begin to integrate more of the human aspects into business. You’re a Marine; you’ve been working on these social problems for a long time. AND, you have connected how they impact our economy, the driver for our economy which is small business. And if we stabilize that aspect of our economy maybe small business can once again be the driver of this economy.
As a taxpayer I’m offended that we have a federal level, a Department of Veteran Affairs, that allows any veteran to be homeless.
Number two, I take umbrage with this aspect tat we have total responsibility for um, all of these people experiencing homelessness. I don’t look at the homeless as a huge blob. They’re made up into two large groups: those who can work and those who can’t. We can’t treat both of those factions in the same way.
What we need to do is those who can’t work, then that’s where my Christian upbringing comes into play. But as a taxpayer I don’t want to responsibility for ALL of that condition.
What I see that’s reasonable is filling the void, creating what’s lacking, that will help us deal with the other half of that population. What they’re lacking is opportunity.
I’m going to leave here and go down to the shelter this afternoon. There’s going to be 4-500 able-bodied man out of the 7 or 800 people that are in there. I can’t say go over there and get on that square and put your shoulder to the wheel and let’s go to work because it doesn’t exist. There’s no living wage jobs program. There are no jobs at their level that need to be done that if they work 40 hours they’re going to get off the street.
That’s what I want to do. I want to provide my heart, my compassion, my social and Christian upbringing for one group. But, for the other group, I want to create opportunity and then say:
“Now, let’s get to work.”
I see our hour has gone by. I feel like I could talk with you for a long, long, time. But I know you have a gazillion things to get done and a gazillion people who need your help.
We’ve reached the imagination moment in our show. Let’s imagine Melissa Weiner at Stray Dog Media has just been called by President Obama. After a few gasps, she hears him invite you to the White House. He wants you to meet with him and the First Lady and share your three steps to bring a sustainable end to homelessness here in the US. What would those three steps be?
Yeah, I can tell you without hesitation what those three steps would be. I would say very clearly these are the three things we need to do. And without them we will not resolve this concern.
- Affordable Healthcare.
- Affordable Housing.
- Livable Incomes.
And livable incomes breaks down in fixing the SSI, or supplemental social income, for those who can’t work. And it means creating an Universal Living Wage for those who can work.
I ask this question regularly because I think it’s our goal to participate in the conversation of where our country is headed. And, if we decide issues are political and we shouldn’t talk about them then the only people who can talk about them are politicians who shouldn’t talk about them.
Your answers are the most crisp and concise. I thank you for that.
Now, let’s not depend on the Federal government for solutions. Can you share with us some examples of company who have raised their wages to livable levels and what happened as a result?
Yeah, sure can.
There was a company out in San Francisco. They were employing folks at the SF International Airport. And, the starting wage at that time was $5.25. They increased the wage to $10 an hour with health benefits or $11.25 without health benefits.
The industry wage average had been $6.00 an hour. So, we moved from $5.25 to $10.00 an hour which sounds like a dramatic leap. But the result was the turnover rate went from 110% to drop down to 25%. And they reported that the skills of the workers, the morale and the performance improved while the grievances dropped.
Every employer knows that employee turnover and employee absenteeism, those are the two things that eat our lunch.
Now, looking at NY, we had something called the Cooperative Home Care Associates. They employ 450 associates. They were paying $7.65 an hour, at the time about 20% above the area’s average. And they provide health benefits, reimburse for travel with their employees. They experienced a turnover rate of 20% as opposed to their industry average of 60%. People felt loyalty and they stuck with them.
More dramatic than that was a company out in Nevada. We have Mirage Hotels. Their VP, Artie Nation, he credits the low turnover in their hotels to increase in wages and training. His casino turnover dropped to 70%. That sounds really high for me. But the industry average for casinos is 300%!
That’s the kind of dramatic, favorable, effect that this has.
Henry Ford jumps to my mind. Everybody knows Henry Ford. He was this entrepreneur who one day walks into the cafeteria with a bunch of his guys and screams:
“Eureka! I got it.”
Those in the cafeteria were going through the line where one person put the meat on their plate and another person but the potatoes on the plate, another added the dessert.
And he said:
“This is it. This is what we’ll do.”
And they all went back to the tables and put them in line. And he explained how the assembly line would work.
At that time, they were at the very zenith of the genesis of who’s going to capture market share.
At first it didn’t work. He had the same problems. He realized he needed to step back and view this problem again from a different perspective.
He said was:
“I need to look at this problem as economics. I’ve got to address employee turnover. This is what’s eating my lunch. I train people and then they’re going to this place called Chrysler; they’re scooping them up.”
What he did was he almost doubled the wage to $5 a day. And almost overnight the employee turnover, the training costs, the unscheduled absenteeism, retail theft and his employees were able to buy the products they were making.
He created his own economic stimulus package.
That’s why we think the introduction of the Universal Living Wage, over a period of 10 years you know...this problem didn’t occur overnight, so there’s no overnight jump. When we get there we’re going to put the difference between the Federal Minimum Wage and the Universal Living Wage and put it into the pockets of those people who need the same thing. And that’s affordable housing.
No one is making affordable housing at that level.
This would be their own economic stimulus. The big thing, the big ticket item, is housing. And you would have a national housing boom at the local, housing construction, level.
It makes so much sense. It just takes a little bit of creativity to connect the dots. It’s so painful to see that when the recession began the first thing companies cut are employees. And then those same companies wonder why there’s a disconnect, why employees are de-motivated, disengaged, as a result.
All of the numbers you mention like lower turnover, lower hiring costs, lower training costs, lower theft and pilfering...your employees then turn into walking billboards for your product. People can see that those who make the car are buying the car.
“That’s good enough for me. I don’t need to see an ad on TV or in the newspaper.”
What's the one thought you want to leave with our listeners about homelessness, those who are homeless and what a solution can offer our country?
Homelessness didn’t exist for the first 30 years of my life. I believe we can solve with American ingenuity we can solve the problem of homelessness. This Universal Living Wage creates a common-sense path to end homelessness. It provides a fair wage for a fair day of work. It stabilizes small business and provides the worker with the basics of food, clothing and shelter. And, finally, it insures that anyone working 40 hours a week can put a roof over their head other than a bridge.
Thank you, Richard.