Joel John Roberts
Posts by Joel John Roberts
Despite unprecedented national efforts, homelessness still feels like a turf battle. You could call it a war.
A third of our nation’s children reside in homes defined as poor, where the household income is below 60% of the national median income for 2008, or $31,000. In other countries, this annual income is a fortune, but in this country, a family that survives on $31,000 per year places their children on a pathway to adult poverty, if not homelessness.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if America’s youth demanded a change of status quo for homeless Americans? Wouldn’t it be incredible if America’s youth revolted against a society that allows for such inequity?
How do we transform a cold gaze into eyes that reflect hope?
For many, a rejection of a child who is gay means a straight path to homelessness
“Homelessness could happen to you.” This is a phrase we may quietly utter to our friends, or even to ourselves, when we stroll by a homeless stranger on the street. “There but for the grace of God, go I,” we say.
If we fail to continue to provide programs that address poverty, more people will end up living on our streets. It’s not as simple as a cash handout. We need to do more.
I think CNN’s Anthony Bourdain needs to write a guide on how to live in America on $7.28 per day.
If that homeless agency partners with housing developers—or becomes a housing developer—in order to promote a true “Housing First” approach, then perhaps communities will embrace the idea that permanent supportive housing is good for their neighborhood.
I do believe that homeless programs have a significant role to play in ending this country’s homelessness. As traditional homeless agencies shift their focus to Housing First strategies, they move away from becoming a forgotten Sony Walkman tape player and closer to being a modern Apple iPhone.