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A Garage Sale...give up your garage

Sick of our feeding and clothing the homeless. It is like a surgeon on the street treating a man with a cut on his leg while he is having a heart attack. When are we going to shove our cars out on the street and give up our garages for the homeless to live in? The neighborhood then becomes family finding a job for the person and bringing in a sofa, a TV, a small refrigerator. Why do we provide a home for our cars and not fellow human beings?

  • Jun 26 2013: In the USA, the homeless often have problems besides just being homeless.

    Before taking in a homeless person you had better assure that they are sane, not criminally inclined, not addicted, not contagious, and generally will not cause you more harm than you can manage.

    It is true that some ordinary people are temporarily homeless due to bad luck or bad health, and just need a helping hand for a short time to get back in control of their lives. A program to vet these people and place them in volunteer homes might be very successful at very low cost. The program might require a special form of insurance to provide for unforeseen damages suffered by any party.

    Most housing codes make it illegal to house people in garages.

    You might better consider using the many seasonal and recreational houses that are not used for most of the year. There are also many available recreational vehicles, but there would probably be legal problems with using them.

    Also, if you expect these people to ever leave, they will need help with getting a job, transportation etc.

    If this problem was simple, it would have been solved long ago.
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    Jul 1 2013: Storage containers for the homeless. I'd live in one with the right simple interior design.
  • Jun 28 2013: People are giving me good reasons why the Garage Sale idea for the homeless won't work...I can even detect some criticisms hide a wish that it could be done. To give up the garage for a homeless person would certainly need legal advice and local statutes not to be an obstacle. The community--not just the homeowner--- would have to be involved. The reason to do it transcends the good reasons not to do it.
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    Jun 27 2013: Geoffrey, I would think cars are safer in the garage, less vulnerable to theft and vandalism and the effects of weather on the paint.
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    Jun 26 2013: I have an old-fashioned garage which does not have a bathroom or a kitchen and is not air conditioned (today's temperature is 108 degrees). My homeowner's insurance does not cover liability damages filed by a tenant. The reason I keep my cars in the garage is to protect the second largest investment I make from weather and criminal damage. Have you had any sort of negative effects from the people who live in your garage? Do they hang around the garage all day while you are at work? I will follow your post to get answers to many other questions.
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      Jun 26 2013: I have no garage, but you are right that few people probably have heating or plumbing in their garages. Do they?

      As the question refers to feeding and clothing, neither of which would happen through provision of a garage, I wonder whether the question being asked here is really why homeowners do not take in the homeless and see to their needs in the way that, say, places of worship often do when they host tent cities on their grounds or shelter people in their public spaces when those spaces are not in use.
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        Jun 26 2013: Well Fritzie, I am currently an inactive member of a 12-step program called Literalists Anonymous. I struggle with deciphering what the question might have intended to ask but actually asked something different. Regarding the homeless I donate money from every paycheck, in fact the IRS takes it out automatically, to fund aid to the poor. Geoffrey's idea for me to take a boarder into my garage has several inherent difficulties, some of which I itemized above. And, no, I do not know anyone who has HVAC or plumbing in their garage. We don't have a lot of homeless here in the Arizona desert in the Summer. They move closer to the Pacific Ocean then return for the Winter to enjoy our balmy winter months. Not a bad life really.
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          Jun 26 2013: Yes, I must admit that I had images of you yesterday in a Fundamentalist Grammarian Zealot t-shirt (after you described yourself that way)...

          Seriously, around here most of the homeless tend to be housed downtown in the proximity of the services local governments provide rather than out in the neighborhoods where some people have garages but where such local government services cannot be provided as efficiently.

          In assessments of the services homeless people require, in many places it is not so much that there is not shelter available in the form of free housing but that there are a host of ancillary services the homeless may also need that people are ill-equipped to provide.

          The word homeless often applies here not only to those who have nowhere they can sleep but also to those who would have no such place were there not sheltered spaces provided for them.