Wednesday, February 26, 2014

15 Things to STOP Doing to End Homelessness

Iain De Jong nails it. Though he wrote this for 2013, it applies even more so today.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm Just Fed Up These Days

Sometimes I wonder if it is even worth the effort to advocate for the homeless.   No one is paying attention to what is really going on.  Everyone is so full of propaganda, whether they be on the right or left or 'alternet' politically.   No one is wanting to admit fault although it is clear that there is fault on every side.   And every effort to change things for the better becomes stagnant from a lack of progress.

People on the political right get angry when homeless people ask for help.  They tell the homeless to "just get a job", and yet they don't consider how bad the job market is, nor do they consider that many homeless people have issues they must overcome before qualifying for jobs.

People on the political left advocate for giving help to the homeless, but have no clue as to what help the homeless actually need, or how best to go about administering that help.   Also, the political left often portrays the homeless as mere innocents caught in unfortunate circumstance, and purposely overlook the fact that most homeless people are indeed, social inadequates - suffering from addictions and mental illnesses and retardation.

Although the left and the right are on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum, both groups are equally ill equipped to actually end homelessness, or to otherwise deal with homelessness issues.

Besides these two groups, we have the homeless themselves.  They are not doing themselves any favors by they way they often behave in public.   The addicts and the crazies make people afraid of every homeless person.  And so you have most homeless people refusing to admit they are homeless for fear of the reaction they'll get.   Go out looking for a job and tell the employer that you're currently homeless and see if you get the job  Good luck with that.

As for the "church", well, the religious have had their shot at dealing with homelessness, and they haven't achieved squat.   Of course the church doesn't mind taking credit for rescuing a homeless person, who actually rescued himself.    Most homeless people can get themselves out of homelessness, by themselves, in just 3 months or less - so why do faith based homeless service providers create programs that require the homeless to stay at the shelter for 6 months to a year - or more?   Enough with that already.

Sure, there's a little hope in "housing first".   It's a program that actually works, gets homeless people off the streets and saves local government and businesses money as well.   The thing is, "housing first" has been around for several years now, but really hasn't gained much head way.   Sadly, the reason for housing first's lack of progress is due to the general public's judgmental view of the homeless.  Even though housing first is a win-win, people don't think homeless people "deserve to be helped."

It's all very sad.