When a Domino’s delivery driver noticed one of her customers living in extreme poverty, she decided to do something about it.
Minnesota resident Angela Nguyen had been delivering pizzas to Lee Haase for years. After a powerful storm destroyed his home, and the untimely death of his son, Haase was forced to take shelter in a small trailer with no heat or electricity.
“I thought, ‘We got to do something. We got to do something. We can’t let a human being live like this,'” Nguyen told KARE 11 in Minneapolis.
Nguyen started a GoFundMe page for Haase in hopes of raising the enough money to purchase him a new place to live. The page raised over $30,000 after just two months. Haase now has a new home, fully furnished with food, electricity, and adequate heating. Haase’s story touched many around the globe, as donations came in from as far as Australia according to Nguyen.
A heartwarming story to be sure, but the overwhelming majority of homeless people in America don’t receive the same kind of charity. Over 500,000 Americans are homeless, many of them receiving virtually no assistance at all. And current efforts are making only slowly making progress: a recent report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed that at its current rate, the nation won’t end homelessness for another 40 years.
Despite this, homelessness would actually be relatively affordable to solve. A commission by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that it would cost $22.5 billion, a fraction of the federal budget, to virtually end homeless by giving people rental assistance. Ending homelessness makes fiscal sense, too, as many studies have found that it is much cheaper for states to simply give homeless people a place to live than to leave them on the streets.