by Linda Kaidan
2018 leaves us with a legacy of climate change disasters on a planetary scale unparalleled in human history. Herkimer, NY is safer from climate disaster than most any place in our country and is thus a valuable resource in maintaining civilization. Rather than housing criminals as climate change escalates, it’s time for us to learn how to enable ourselves to be as constructive and self sustaining as possible while providing a haven to those fleeing disasters.
Sobering statics that should motivate us to change:
- From 2008-2015 an average of 21.5 million were people displaced worldwide as consequence of “climate related hazards.”
- The total estimated cost of climate-related disasters from 1998 to 2017 is $2.25 trillion.
- 25% of the homeless in Los Angeles Country, CA sleep in their cars. Over 15,700 people live in 9,100 vehicles.
- Butte County, CA executive housing director, Ed Mayer, warned that the recent Camp Fire could “set off a wave of refugee migration akin to a smaller version of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.” 6,000-7,000 households have little chance of finding housing again.
Landlord Jay Smith continues supporting criminal tenants
17% of the 22 homes on Pleasant Ave in Herkimer, NY are owned by Jay Smith who is the recorded owner of 27 Herkimer, NY properties. We have observed that 5 of these homes have been sheltering gang harassers, drug dealers and drug addicts. Mr. Smith’s tenants have destroyed our property, harassed and assaulted us during the nearly 5 years we have lived here. His tenants, our neighbors at 332 Pleasant Ave who are law abiding, just moved out replaced by known associates of his criminal tenants. Stanley Sykes, former Jay Smith tenant, admitted that some of these residents were members of the famous US gang, the Crips.
Housing criminals as climate change escalates destabilizes our community
It’s interesting that at a time of excessive housing shortages, climate change migrations and massive economic losses, Mr. Smith considerately continues to rent to active criminals. There are no houses listed for sale on Pleasant Avenue in Herkimer, NY where we have recently seen an influx of skilled Amish tradesmen and out of town construction contractors working on home renovations.
Home owners and landlords everywhere can reduce homelessness and make money
Affordable housing with smaller units can help people live better adding to neighborhood stability while providing a decent income for landlords. Mr. Smith can easily rethink his position as a landlord and make a positive contribution to climate change survival for our community.