This letter was submitted to LebTown. Read our submission policy here.

Four months ago, when I was in the process of searching for people interested in renting apartments, I realized the great need that exists in Lebanon for available housing. Hundreds of people wrote to me in those months desperately looking for a place to live. I never imagined that the need for places in good condition and at a reasonable cost is very scarce.

There were people during this period of search who constantly wrote to me saying that they had the money in hand to move as quickly as possible, there were people crying because they were almost going to be homeless and had nowhere to go.

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There were people who even told me “If my application for this apartment is not approved, I don’t know what I’m going to do, I have nowhere to go.”

It was difficult for me to hear those words, it hurt my heart but at the same time I was able to understand the landlords, the responsible landlords, who do take care of their properties and want to help people, I can see how they simply can’t just give away their apartment for free or at a different cost.

How can we find solutions to these issues? How can we make sure that people who need a place to live are able to afford it?

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While I do not have the answers to these questions right now I will say this, to those seeking for a place to live, there are plenty of jobs out there, it may not be the job you want but still a job to provide for yourself and your family and to those who own properties, the least we can do as landlords is to make sure that the places we have available for people to rent are places that bring dignity to those who live in them, let’s do the best we can to provide dignity to our tenants.

One of the cases that hurt me the most to see was that of a man who lost his job during the pandemic in 2020 and was kicked out of his home because he couldn’t pay the rent. This case is one of thousands of people who lost the ability to work and were unable to get help paying their rent and other personal expenses.

According to the White House, the number of homeless people in the United States is estimated at 552,830. With about half a million people living in a state of homelessness, things are not looking good. Still, on the bright side, it’s a small percentage compared to the general US population of more than 327.2 million.

Let’s help each other by sharing the information and resources available, if you are renting a place and need help, reach out don’t stay silent because of shame, it is better to get help and pay for rent than not reach and get kicked out of the place you live in and taint your reputation in the process.

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Amaury Abreu is an aspiring entrepreneur and social activist who lives in Lebanon.

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