To the Editor:
Cape Hope's admirable ambition of creating a gospel rescue mission and community care center is a goal I support, as do many churches in our area.
Providing emotional support, with spiritual guidance, life skills and job training to help our less fortunate obtain employment and adequate housing must be an end goal of Christians, our community, and legislators
As in the past, these endeavors fail for lack of funding, planning, and faith. If Cape Hope is able to secure federal grants, at what point does the state proclaim, “We will give you the money, but you are not allowed to discuss Jesus!”
Funding must be secured from our Christian brotherhood, secular sources, and even our government, but the message must not be diluted. All have free choice in life: heaven or destruction?
Housing must be sanitary, basic, safe, and affordable. Affordable modular housing is attainable. Shipping containers are easily converted into housing with water, heat, and sewer. Also, tractor trailers can be converted for larger families.
Waivers are granted frequently for subdevelopments of townhomes in the $500,000 range.
A donation of land from a public entity, private corporation or individual would make this a reality. Zoning would have to approve any development of unconventional housing, while also reassuring our NIMBY (not in my backyard) friends, that we, as a community, are all in this together.
There is no legal reason why nonconventional housing cannot be created.
As Cape Hope continues fundraising, it would be beneficial to wait a few years. I expect commercial strip malls and apartment buildings to rapidly decline in value due to recession and other economic variables.
As one who has dealt with government, from zoning to the township, to the federal level, it takes patience, persistence, and a good legal team.
Our legislators must make determinations based on the survival and upward mobility of its citizens.
If 50% of citizens attended zoning meetings, wrote letters, and called legislators, would this have an impact? A more realistic number might be 40%, 30% or even 20%.
If citizens realized it was primarily Christians flying a banner of affordable housing, a proclamation would reverberate across our country.
A multi-faceted approach to housing – gospel mission, shipping containers, federal/corporate partnerships to build affordable housing, and providing property tax deductions and tax incentives to allow entrepreneurs to convert and build housing stock from existing structures.
It is time for landlord/tenant reform laws. Tenants who destroy property and housing must be subject to severe criminal penalties.
Gov. Murphy issued executive orders for two years, punishing landlords who should be rewarded and destroying affordable housing.
My wisdom: “Government works for us; we don't work for them.” “Government works best when their hand is not in my wallet.” “I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”
Besides the economic cost of workers moving to free states, and a lack of employees, our latest generation is dying physically from broken families, no role models, no mentors, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, and poor decisions.
Spiritually, they are also dying. As a county corrections officer for 25 years, I witnessed many lives in self–destruct mode. Very few of those incarcerated were Christians. Many lost souls converted in prison.
It is time to hold ourselves and our legislators accountable.
- David Robinson, Court House