I remember my first time I went to Balboa park when I was little.
For me, it was a place of discovery. Not just in science, but in life. I soon realized looking at the homeless people who sat around in the park that I was indeed very lucky.
My heart cried. Yes, I'm a "bleeding heart." My heart can't help but feel sorrow.
It lead me to charity. I did charity, working at soup kitchens such as St. John's in Fallbrook. I felt blessed to be able to give back and make a difference.
Of course, life has taken me in all different directions. I've been able to travel to places only some dream of. From the wondrous ancient cobble stoned streets of Jerusalem, to Grand River, once the site of this.
I felt the bullet holes still there in some of the buildings, unfortunately, left the same way they have been since 1967. Grand River was once the epicenter of Detriot culture, now it's forgotten.
I worked business to business in those areas. I felt no fear, despite others telling me I was putting my life on the line. Why? Because I'm no racist, real talk. In fact, I loved working downtown more than I liked working the wanna be Bloomfields, like Waterford. Give me 7 mile or Gratiot. Waddup doh.
Imagine a California accented white boy like myself, in, shall I say, the hood?
That's why when I go to Compton or other places out here in California, they don't look so bad to me anymore. Or the barrios in Tucson or Nogales. My amigos forgave me often for being the lone gringo at the party - until my wife showed up. She forgives me for this small humor.
If anything, she should resent me. Part German and part Chippewa, she would have every reason to. But of course, that is not the case.
My point in all this is that I don't judge books by their covers, and some books have just had their covers worn down. It's not always their fault. The content is still good, but the covers may be dented, damaged or even missing.
So in that mindset, it makes me wonder why we do not take enough care of our Veterans. Those who have chosen to serve - putting everything on the line for this Country. What would be the harm in putting together something equal to the treatment some of the illegal aliens are getting now from the Federal Government?
The feds said the rooms will be referred to as "suites." The suites are furnished with bunk beds, play tables for children, flat-screen television sets and landline telephones.
"I will refer to everyone in this facility as a resident. ICE generally refers to people in custody as detainees," ICE San Antonio Field Office Director Enrique Lucero said.
Lucero oversaw the transformation of the center.
The center has a soccer field covered with artificial turf, basketball courts, ping pong tables and a weight room. Officials also have plans to install a playground.
A charter school from nearby San Antonio will provide schooling and access to a library for the immigrant children.
The immigrants will get medical screenings. Children will receive physicals within 24 hours of arriving at the center and women within a week.
"There is a dentist on site," Lucero said.
Yes, I'd rather house the illegal immigrants instead of releasing them into the general populace, but it seems rather depressing when looked at in comparison to the VA scandals.
Where is the care and attention for our Veterans that they deserve?
That makes me rather perturbed.
In fact, it makes me wonder why we are going to such lengths for illegal immigrants, but yet not our own homeless people?
I remember an article from the Orlando Sentinel, which had a study on the true costs of homelessness in America.
It estimated that a single homeless person costs us, as taxpayers, 31 thousand dollars per year on the streets. If we put them in shelters, we could do it for 10k, saving 21k per year per homeless person.
The price tag covers the salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues.
In contrast, providing the chronically homeless with permanent housing and case managers to supervise them would run about $10,000 per person per year, saving taxpayers millions of dollars during the next decade, the report concludes.
So knowing those numbers I looked back at the KRGV.com report.
The feds estimate it will cost approximately $74,000 a day to house 532 immigrants at the center. That's an average of $140 a day per person.
What it doesn't say is that's over 27 million dollars for the entire center per year. (Almost twice the VA overhaul passed today)
That's $51,100 average per bed, for illegal immigrants, per year.
Most working class people don't even make that much per year. Let alone once you calculate the cost of a typical family.
So, in fact, if you look at it from a efficiency standpoint, that's 5 times more than it would cost per person than the estimate for the homeless given by the Orlando Sentinel.
That is just outrageous.
Don't our Veterans deserve the same treatment if not better? Those suffering from PTSD and other mental conditions in particular? Don't those injured in defense of our country, such as retired police officers deserve the same treatment?
Our country could do so much better for it's own heroes. They provided us cover, now we should provide it to them in return.