13. Churches, community groups, the private sector, and state and local governments must all do more to meet our common responsibilities for housing. We must recognize the homeless person as part of the human family, as part of us. However, there is no substitute for an involved, competent, and committed federal government providing resources, leadership, and direction for a broad and flexible attack on homelessness and poor housing. A recent survey makes clear that there is broad public support for such action.(6) What is missing are leadership and commitment. We invite those who seek to lead this nation; those who represent us at all levels in government; those involved in housing construction, finance, and development; leaders of neighborhood groups, unions, businesses, and human service agencies to join with us in a determined search for how this richly blessed nation can eliminate homelessness and take concrete steps to provide decent, affordable housing for those in need. As the Pontifical Commission Justitia et Pax declared:
They ride the elevator up to a conference room, where Chanel is jarred to find the director of Auburn, Derrick Aiken, waiting. He is there to issue a warning: If Chanel and her husband, Supreme, do not comply with the Department of Homeless Services’ requirements, the family may be forced to leave the shelter system. At issue is their public assistance case, which has closed because Supreme failed to report to a job placement program, one of dozens of such lapses in the past decade. Currently, the family receives only food stamps and survivor benefits.