The housing crisis in our city is reaching a breaking point. Something has to be done to help the struggling members of our community, which is why we, the city’s appointed housing task force, are announcing a plan to eliminate homelessness entirely. Through our bold, new initiative, we plan to end homelessness in our city by calling it something different.

Does “non-roofed” sound good to everyone?

You see, once we call the issue something like, just shooting from the hip here, the “houselessness crisis,” no one will technically be homeless anymore, because we won’t use that word. Got it? Good. Because this initiative will take all of us.

Now, you may wonder why we can’t just provide people housing, especially since there are more vacant apartments in our city than people who need them. That’s a great question. The answer? It would be hard, and we don’t want to. While we support subsidized housing in theory, in practice, there are a lot of rich complainers in this town we don’t want to deal with.

One new term we’re considering is “people who are without home.” Notice how that term starts with “people.” We believe in language that centers humanity. Actions, less so.

We know our initiative will make this city a better, more empathetic place for everyone. Just imagine a world where instead of ignoring a homeless person asking you for money, you take the time to ignore a “sans-house” person. It’s important to think you’re helping.

We’ve gained approval from the mayor’s office to allocate $10 million of the city’s budget towards our initiative. Since our funding is coming out of your tax dollars, we feel it would be prudent to explain how we will allocate the money: $2 million will go to brainstorming potential terms, like “un-homedness” or “the pre-housed community,” or maybe “those who are not non-homeless”; $7 million will go to spreading awareness of the terminology change with innovative outreach techniques like stickers and a website; and finally, $1 million will go toward the two black-tie galas celebrating the launch and successful conclusion of the initiative.

But that’s where the real work comes in: please put our stickers on your laptops.

Oh, we just thought of another one. How about “insufficiently walled”?

By creating confusing, ever-shifting language, we hope to deny the homeless population a group identity, and in doing so, subtly deny that the issue is systemic. By perpetuating the convenient idea that homelessness is the fault of individuals, we won’t have to feel guilty about seeing them on the street. And feeling bad is something we specifically should never have to experience.

Everyone knows adjusting our language is the first step to creating meaningful change. With your help, it can also be the last.