My daughter Sarah and I did some volunteer work last night at a nearby “drop-in” center for the ‘Lazarrus’s at the gate (see last entry)’ in our Cleveland neighborhood. These are the poor, the homeless. During the night I talked with another volunteer, Matt Reitz. Mr. Reitz is the new president of the non-profit Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation. He said a recent thrust of his organization is to start brainstorming about how to help relatively low-income people move toward home ownership. Mr. Reitz told me they are talking about a multi-dimensional approach, with public seminars by real estate agents, credit counselors, financial analysts and the like. In addition, there’s been talk of Neighborhood Tours to give people more insight into what’s available, a look at rennovation techniques on existing homes, etc. Mr. Reitz added that so many people these days are sinking money into rent when the money could go toward developing equity. It is this type of thing that often keeps the poor, poor — or at least poorer… As an addendum, I told a newspaper in Champaign, Illinois, that we should expand the concept of “social security.” That is, for instance, we should help as many people as possible move into homeownership so they feel more “secure” in their community. And in that vein, one of the things our administration would propose would be that after, say, seven years, some low-income people would be eligible to draw from some of what they’ve paid into Social Security for small, no-interest home loans.