HIGH LIFE: A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Students Offer Their Solutions for Homeless

From runaway teen-agers to the unemployed, from parents with children to the elderly, the streets of most major cities in our country are filling up with homeless people. Efforts are being made to provide shelter and food, but Hot Topics wonders: "How would you go about solving the problem of so many homeless people in the United States?"

"Comic Relief is doing a good job of raising money for the homeless. People should just help out with churches who help the homeless in their communities."

Andrea Crim, 16,

sophomore, Brea-Olinda

"Enlist as many of them as possible into the armed forces."

Kim Tuffley, 19,

senior, Brea-Olinda

"Government should support our country and attend to our homeless and poor before helping other countries' homeless."

Mike Wheat, 18,

senior, Brea-Olinda

"The government needs to create more public-works programs so that homeless people can earn money while improving their districts and building low-cost housing."

Natalie Pierce, 18,

senior, Capistrano Valley

"Government-funded housing should be provided under contract that (the homeless) work in a public-service job or repay by finding other jobs."

Gary Jackson, 18,

senior, Capistrano Valley

"You need to provide them with a means of making money. The federal government should set up a system by which homeless people get paid a certain amount for each hour they work on a public-service project (i.e., roads, buildings, monuments). If any of them have special talents, government could set up an agency by which they could put them with companies that need that talent. Housing should be provided by the government as well, kind of a loan to the homeless until they could pay it off. Of course, government would have to monitor these people to make sure they don't squander their money on liquor and drugs. Perhaps they could set up a community for the homeless in which they grow their own food, build their own houses--a utopia."

Todd Russell, 16,

junior, Capistrano Valley

"People should try to help by donating money."

Pat Chueh, 16,

junior, Cypress

"First, have the government admit that there is a problem."

Karin Stein, 17,

senior, Cypress

"Say that the most money you can make in one year is $1 million. The rest of the money should go to the homeless."

Mark Johnson, 18,

senior, Cypress

"Let people who live on the streets by choice stay there. Give the others a place to live and a job."

Heather Green, 17,

senior, Dana Hills

"Re-prioritize government spending. Stop spending money on new military toys."

Ian Fletcher, 18,

senior, Dana Hills

"Give them a home."

Chris Oprison, 18,

senior, Dana Hills

"The tax system should be changed to where the rich pay more than middle and lower classes. A percentage of this money should be put toward helping the homeless."

Kris Opbrook, 17,

junior, Esperanza

"Create more jobs for them and better educate them."

Chris Ediss, 17,

junior, Esperanza

"Pick people who are well off and ask them if they would put the people up as boarders--one to every house."

Darren Sweeney, 16,

sophomore, Mission Viejo

"Get them a job."

Pat Stump, 15,

sophomore, Mission Viejo

"Take $1 from every person's paycheck who makes more than $20,000 a year."

Matt Phillips, 16,

sophomore, Mission Viejo

"Donate money for shelters and do volunteer work."

Kristine Anderson, 16,

junior, Rosary

"Ask parish priests to open halls and make (them) into shelters."

Jennifer Copper, 16,

junior, Rosary

"Get my family, including myself, to donate money."

Stephanie Snell, 16,

junior, Rosary

"Tell them to get jobs. Then concentrate on Vietnam vets and the disabled."

Tyler Hetchison, 18,

senior, San Clemente

"Provide more government funds."

Janine Davis, 17,

junior, San Clemente

"Have the Red Cross step in and help. It always seems to work pretty well after earthquakes and other disasters."

Kathy Rowe, 16,

junior, San Clemente

"Increase funding to programs to help the homeless. Make more trade schools for them to be able to learn a trade. Make benefits for people who hire the homeless."

Joe Corona, 16,

junior, Trabuco Hills

"Do what France did after World War II. Because many homes were destroyed after the war, the French built apartments which were low-rent, large housing developments. They also need jobs, so they could be given jobs as janitors in industrial buildings. Since most are not educated, those positions would not require education or experience."

Lorena Perez, 17,

senior, Trabuco Hills

"Some homeless people have made that choice to be homeless because they don't have the opportunity to be successful and to educate (themselves) and to do the little things they're supposed to do to make it to the top."

Visco Ancich, 16,

sophomore, Tustin

"It's gonna take a lot of government aid and these people need education. They need to be offered child care, and they need to motivate and discipline themselves."

Crystal Lathrup, 18,

senior, Tustin

"Build more cheap, government-funded homes around the most populated slums. In Europe they have many semi-high-rises that can house hundreds of people relatively cheap in densely populated places. These houses are really popular in Europe and they can be built very tastefully and safely."

Monica Gyulai, 18,

senior, University

"We should provide more chances for homeless people to live better, and more chances for being accepted into society. It's hard to find jobs if they're dressed poorly and don't have a home. They should be able to have housing first, then they might find jobs to support themselves."

Christine Chung, 17,

senior, University

"If they want help, there should be appropriate funds and housing for them."

Bob Piper, 18,

senior, Villa Park

"Make the people that don't have jobs get off their duffs and work. They can train with ROP for free."

Brandi Burton, 17,

senior, Villa Park

"If more Americans gave a damn, there wouldn't be such a problem."

Nathan Catanio, 15,

freshman, Villa Park

"Gather people together and plan fund-raisers; then, with any funds the government and churches provided, we should build a building to house the homeless."

Roberta Flores, 16,

junior, Western

"There should be a homeless tax collected every 6 months. All of the money would go to providing homes for them and putting them back into the community."

Gary Holder, 14,

freshman, Western

"Strike out the address requirement on job applications. That way, a person could get a job without an address."

Patti Halstead, 17,

senior, Western

Next Week's Hot Topic:

If you saw someone cheating on a test, what would you do? Why?

Hot Topic responses gathered by Chris Bergerud, Angela Conner, Stephanie Jeffers, Lynda Kim, Kyra Kirkwood, Cutie Lee, Joo Young Lee, Rebecca Leung, Heather Orey, Cindy Shaver, Kim Snow, Janet Stouder and Edward White.DR, GABRIEL SALDIVAR

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