A photo of Ben Carson.
credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

I pray we will be okay with Ben Carson as the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is a Black man who supposedly knows about and experi-enced poverty growing up. Many say he is unequipped for the job. I don’t know about that; I do know that when he was running for president many said the same thing.

We will have to wait and see what he has to say and what he plans to do at HUD with possible policies such as President Trump’s statement that he would rebuild inner cit-ies for Black Americans. I hope Carson promotes public housing and phases out poli-cies that favor mixed housing over public housing. Most of us in the advocacy commu-nity believe that such policy has been a tool to gentrify our inner cities and caused dis-placement of many poor Blacks forced to leave their communities and homes. That’s why I hope we will go back to more public housing units, which will lead more people out of poverty.

This new infrastructure would create jobs across the board for people living in those communities. But like everything else, it will take time. That means many more years in which more poor Blacks will die and become sick while living on the street and in shel-ters. I hope Mr. Carson will listen to the people he is supposed to represent and provide housing to low-income Americans that is affordable, sustainable and accessible. Un-fortunately, as with his other Cabinet members, Trump has chosen someone who has spoken badly about the people his department is supposed to help.

The Republican Party has resisted funding to help low-income people and elderly Americans for the last eight years, particularly for Black people who voted for Obama. But now that they have control of government they will no longer be able to use Presi-dent Obama as a proxy and an excuse to do nothing to help needy Americans live the American dream, which has been dying under the Republican House and Senate.

I hope we can all imagine people working together helping each other reach their goals. America certainly will never be great as long as we have a few people who have so much and everyone else with very little or nothing at all. So, good luck, Mr. Carson, in making America great again — unless you don’t help people who really need it. That would not be great. That would be sad.

Robert Warren is a Street Sense vendor.