.Letters

BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING

What is the evidence, despite what nearly all economists believe, for the assertion that Santa Cruz’s housing market is somehow not subject to the economic law of supply and demand (as “Housing for People” promoters claim, and the Editorial Note repeats in the 10/18 issue)? No one expects more building of market rate apartments to completely ‘solve’ affordability, but it will affect it. Even without the required affordable housing, building new, denser housing frees up older, less expensive housing elsewhere for others. The “Housing for People” initiative should more accurately be labeled “Less, More Expensive Housing for Fewer People” given its likely (and possibly illegal) effects on our housing market. Santa Cruz is changing regardless of some people’s interest in trying to keep it the same forever (ignoring that they or their forebears changed it when they arrived…). Either it will become increasingly exclusive, or we can actively shape it to provide more housing opportunities for our workers and younger generations who otherwise need to go elsewhere.

Dan Brumbaugh

Santa Cruz


HOUSING AND SUICIDE

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For many of us, November is the month of Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. It is a time when people gather with family and friends to express gratitude and appreciation for the good things in their lives. Families celebrate Thanksgiving as one of the few days of the year they are blessed to have so many loved ones under the same roof. Those less fortunate may spend Thanksgiving in homeless shelters or the cold. A few may receive a traditional Thanksgiving lunch, but many others will go hungry.

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. The purpose is to raise awareness for unhoused children and families and to educate the public on ways to help end thiis occurrence. Estimates say 1.3 million children under six experience homelessness in the United States. Over one-half of them experience depression and anxiety.

 According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 550,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults up to age 24 experience a homelessness episode longer than a week. 43% of homeless youth are unsheltered. Many of them have experienced significant trauma before and after being unhoused.

The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide through educational awareness programs that equip us with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth. If you have friends or loved ones who are homeless, it is necessary to know the warning signs and risk factors associated with suicidal ideation. Knowing this information could be crucial in saving that young person’s life. For more information, please visit www.jasonfoundation.com.

 Scott Knight

The Jason Foundation

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