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Do you think this can sustain an inome and cost the government less than welfare or employment assistence?

Yes
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#6114
I had a very similar idea to the “Homesteading for the Homeless”, but designed as a co-op movement with earning a trade, education, or house down payment as a primary objective. Let me explicate a little:

Note: this is ALL voluntary. Anyone can either leave, or be put back on assistance if they choose, at any time. the "living in house" is based off of a system of house care workers British Columbia currently has for Youth workers with some days lived in the group home, and some days off.

Basically: government funded (instead of EI or welfare) “half way house” to getting homeless/people who cannot afford education / people who want to participate in “greater good” projects. Construction and businesses take volunteers and pay into a “group fund” back to the house for the use of labour. The individuals who work get work experience and on the job training, and are expected not to be top performers, but only trainees. This lasts from 3 months – several years, depending on the choice of the individual, or if the person is “working up” or just volunteering. The experience learned gets put back into the “House” – for repairs and organization, accounting, etc. This experience is also taught to others who are NOT working outside the house, but are primarily house maintenance (tier 2). Tier 3 are given menial tasks, and are uptrained and counseled to prepare them for tier 2 positions. Drugs are not tolerated, and relationships are allowed, but only one couple per room. “rooms” are divided into near sound proof cubicles that basically allow for clothes, and a few minor personal items, everything else is stored for free (accessible to the person, and released upon leaving the up training facility).

All of this is very structured. Basic needs are met:
Food (group kitchen)
- Cooks and support staff (tier 2 and 3)
- A section of land is designated for training farming skills, and green house. These are built and maintained by sub contracts in trade for labour, (60% of all food produced or more supplied from this – excess is sold to the community)
Shelter
- Cleaning (tier 2 and 3)
Clothing
- Cloths sewn and designed, taught to tier 3 from tier 2, and some “fashion students” who earn credit for training on the latest styles.
Entertainment
- Theater students from local college and university train basics in theater, and people from the uptraining house participate and help write the scripts.
- Government supported documentaries and movies are produced, and in trade, equipment and grants are allotted for tier 1. Tier 2 and 3 act as support and extras.
- Advisory council, consisting of all tier 3, vote on mass entertainment. Movies, etc. There are libraries of movies and music available to take out with membership.
- Each individual is allotted a certain amount of “credit” to go out on their own every month. The more they achieve the more they receive – even tier 3’s can earn a lot if they get great reviews from tier 2 and tier 1 mentors.

Start off with deserted churches (living in the highest church per capita in the world city, go figure, 1986 Guinness Book of world records) – Divide a large church that has approximately 30+rooms into 3 sections, tier 1, 2 and 3 – each with more freedoms and responsibilities.

3 tiers:
Tier 1: training and Optimum class: either people that want work experience for free, or people who have achieved the right to this position.
This group is in management of repairing the premises, and controlling the rest of the group – advisory council for the group home. Trained by outside businesses and government projects. In charge of entertainment and large project production. Peer councilors. Make income for the house. Some may choose this as a career path instead of seeking outside jobs: Examples of group leaders: Accounting/Finance, Project Leads, Government grant Liaisons, City chamber of commerce Liaison. These are paid positions, and works can either live in house, or out of house. Decent grants earned each year (1 year of university for each year worked, or 10,000 for a house down payment for those who are NOT paid positions)

Tier 2: In house workers, and maintenance. Being uptrained by tier 1’s. People who don’t know what they want to specialize in, but work 2-3 job types to test the waters. In house for ½ the week, out of house at either a satellite house or their own residence. Moderate grants earned each year. Minor peer counseling to Tier 3.

Tier 3: people who have no or little education. Basic expectations: not mentally disabled, or physically unfit. Willing to work, even menial labour, minimum of 20 hours a week to “earn their way.” All job types until they narrow down to 3 career paths (tier 2). Expected to be “in house” 5 days a week. “Allowed” out after work assigned is completed (if choose not to work, are given back to social assistance or asked not to return – “you are fired”). Not expected to do any more than bare minimum unless they desire to. Minor money grants/credits earned each year.

If someone works for more than a certain amount of time (1 year?), they start getting a special account created for them for either purchasing a house (down payment) or schooling (grants for education). This varies depending on the house income, and government grants added to the house.

Note: Metals and certificates of honor are to be publicly given to “tier ones” who achieve great projects or do well, like employee’s of the year (help with school transcripts, and public recognition if they start a small business).

Reward: What I want: a chance to run one of these, or to help it work. (note: this is already being done on a much smaller scale, and giving some success, not governement funded: see myavatar.org )
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