The 2008 recession was a period of struggle and great financial loss for many families in this country. My family was especially hit hard when my stepdad lost his job in 2009. Luckily, we we were not among the many families who lost their homes.
This was not the reality for many families in this country.
Although the economic recession officially ended years ago, the effects are still hurting many families. People are still trying to pay back loans taken from banks, the government or even just other close friends and family members. It was the worst economic condition since the Great Depression.
However, there is hope for many families in our neighborhood. As the school year comes to an end, my roommate and I have been searching for new apartments for next year. Along the Metro Light Rail, we noticed La Mesita apartments, meaning the little table in Spanish, which are modern looking with gray and neon green color schemes.
Little did we know that these apartments are actually a new project for low-income and homeless families. When the word “projects” or low-income housing is mentioned, most people think of run-down and forsaken buildings from the wrong side of town.
It is refreshing to see that a great organization has taken it upon themselves to place livable apartment homes along a major public transportation resource for people who may not be able to afford cars, apartments notwithstanding.
Kudos to the city of Mesa, which supported A New Leaf and its project to renovate a decrepit motel from the Truman era. The city committed money and resources to ensure A New Leaf could successfully rebuild this apartment complex.
However, what makes me happy to see is that these families will not only be given a decent place to create a home, they will be given the dignity all people deserve. The government needs to support more organizations such as A New Leaf which turn out good homes, not some shack for mediocre living.
People deserve a fair shot. People deserve the respect and dignity to have access to public transportation, habitable places to live and resources to get their lives on track. La Mesita apartments will provide all of this.
One of the best things about these apartments is that they will have access to mental heath counseling and personal finance advising.
We need more of this. We need politicians who support organizations and projects such as these. The first step to reversing the effects of the recession and getting people back on their feet are immediate access to basic living standards for the 21st century.
It is unfair for a world-class university to be a few miles away with many great resources when the surrounding community still suffers.
Hopefully municipal governments begin to give as much money to building respectable housing for their low-income residents as they give to building new shopping centers.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @gilromeo92
Editor’s note: The opinion presented in this column is the author’s and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.