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.
He’s the author of Looking up at the Bottomline: The Struggle for the Living Wage, an intense personal, political, and educational guide through the last 30 years of homelessness in America. According to the US Conference of Mayors, a person working 40 hours a week, at a minimum wage of $7.25, doesn't have enough money to afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.
You can listen to our radio interview here.
You can read notes from our conversation here.
It made sense to me to ask him a hypothetical question. I asked him:
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?
And with hesitation he answered:
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.
Want More from Richard Troxell?
- Visit his website.
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Some may say this is inappropriate.
This is politics! And you never discuss politics at Thanksgiving Dinners, backyard barbecues and on a business radio show.
I disagree. As long as only politicians can discuss solutions for our country then those solutions and their interested audiences will remain off-limits, political, for those who make this brand, our country, run. And only politicians, these days that's only career politicians, can discuss those ideas and spoon-feed solutions to the public.
I see our times as an all hands-on-deck opportunity and not a crisis. That opportunity is for each of us to lend our hands, our conversations, our ideas to find and share solutions. In our absence those challenges are left to ideologues, vested interests and politicians of all stripes and partisan persuasion.
We...are the only ones with vested interests. And now we have, with social media and the urgency of today, the opportunity to reclaim our place at this table and discuss our ideas to solve our challenges. At the very least, we can listen to a discussion until we are ready to speak up.