Showing posts with label homeless industry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homeless industry. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Homeless Terms To Know - Temporary Housing

There is nothing called "temporary housing" in the homeless industry, as far as I can tell.   That is, there are no programs or facilities for the homeless that go by that name.

Still, the wording "temporary housing" is kicked around a lot by those in the homeless industry - it is used in a generic sense referring to shelters and transitional housing programs.

Outside of the homeless industry, the phrase is used to describe short term leases for apartments.   Sometimes these apartments will be labeled "affordable housing", but they are still priced way out of reach of homeless people.

Some people may use "temporary housing" in reference to living indefinitely in cheap hotels and motels. But I just don't see that as being homeless. Sure, people who live long term in hotels may be in a vulnerable state, and very close to becoming homeless, but as long as they are able to pay rent, they shouldn't be considered homeless, not in the technical sense anyway. I am sure that some in the homeless industry will disagree with me on this point, but such is the current state of the industry, as concrete definitions of terms are still elusive.

Back to Homeless Terms To Know

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting the Homeless Story Right

Getting the homeless story right is nearly impossible. I wish it weren't so, but then we'd probably have ended most of homelessness by now. You cannot count on most homeless people to tell you of the realities of homelessness, cause most of them have not figured it out. Many of the homeless are dolts. Many more of them are too busy telling homed people what they want to hear, half because most homed people don't want to know the truth of homelessness, and the other half because many homeless people are just as unwilling to deal with their homelessness and so talk around the subject instead. And a there are some homeless people will only engage the homed population unless they can get something out of them.

Then there are the homeless advocates. The problem is that anyone can claim themselves to be a homeless advocated, and most advocates are not to bright on any subject, let alone homelessness. But in declaring themselves advocates, or even better, when they take on some type of employment at a shelter, these advocates quickly find themselves to be the big fish in very small ponds. They are doing work that most other people would never do. And that is because most people think that dealing with homeless people must be very messy, as well as extremely difficult. So they give a great deal of credit, too much in most cases, to the self declared homeless advocate. Instead of the average citizen taking the time to figure out the homeless industry for him/her self, they would rather just take the word of the person declaring himself an expert. And, as the old saying goes, "those of you who think you know everything, are annoying to those of us who do." In that I call myself a homeless advocate, some might see that my words tell on myself. I guess they only way to get past that is to encourage people to see homelessness for themselves, and then compare that to the advocate and his/her words. But, even that is dangerous. Because, the advocate may be telling the homed community what the homeless community wants to hear, instead of what is real.

In the mix of people not really wanting to know the realities of homelessness, and the self declared advocates not really knowing the realities of homelessness. And perhaps the advocates not really telling the truth, even if they knew it, the actual voice of truth concerning homelessness is rarely heard.

On top of all this, you have the very real issue of homeless industry workers and homeless advocates being territorial. As they find themselves the big fish in the small pond, and getting credit for doing work that people see needs to be done, but no one else is willing to do - big titles are give to homeless industry workers - big clout too. And few are willing to challenge them. Like in the previous post, where a person takes it upon himself to learn about homelessness and take action, when he seeks out information and guidance from someone already in the homeless industry, the industry person tries to do everything she can to stop him.

If every homed person became seriously interested and motivated to help out with the issue of homelessness, then most homeless industry workers would be put out of work. There are approximately 400 homed people to every 1 homeless person in the United States. From this perspective, homelessness seems relatively small and manageable - especially if most homed people were helping to work towards solutions to homelessness. I myself have heard rescue mission chaplains lament the idea that if homelessness were eradicated, that they would have no one covert to their religion.

If you find yourself curious about homelessness - and perhaps interested in working with homeless people, then just do it. And don't let anyone discourage you. Get involved as much as you can - listen to every voice, and decide for yourself were the truth is in the many stories you will hear. And keep as your goal, the end of homelessness.