As one of the wealthiest states in the wealthiest nation the reality that a local motel has 75 families, one to a room, with more than 150 children between them nauseates me.
As to what government is “supposed to do” here is a first pass at a basic list:
1. Ensure a free, comprehensive education that includes at a minimum the ability to read and reason, history, training in participatory democracy and the work ethic, and responsibility without descending to a one-size-fits all factory model of education.
2. Ensure safe infrastructure, which includes roads, communications, efficient basic healthcare, bridges, water, power, and sufficient affordable housing including supportive housing for those with handicaps and disabilities of all varieties so that our population is housed, children are secure, and the waste ensuing from homelessness is eliminated, rather than pouring money into the black holes of the incarceration industry, the shelter industry, the victim industry, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the child welfare/foster care/adoption industries.
3. Ensure competent governance, which includes the absence of corruption, transparency, civic engagement through a strong FOIA law that does not exempt government, and a strong open meeting law that does not exempt government.
4. Creation and maintenance of long range planning on a statewide basis using multi-modal methods of analysis.
Just for starters. A nation or state that does not invest in its present ensures for itself a future as a backwater; investment in true infrastructure requires collective action, not rugged individualism based on “I got mine, who cares about the next guy.”