In my tenure as the leader of a community based organization in Southern California, I have seen dozens of small agencies go out of business. Some of these charities performed amazing services for the most needy people in our society. They provided shelter for people living on the streets, counselling for women fleeing abuse, food […]
Tag Archives: homeless
Unlike the topics of foreign policy, or the economy, or education, homelessness is just not a priority among presidential candidates. Here are five reasons why:
So our experienced outreach workers compassionately, patiently, tenderly, work with these people, day after day, in the search for housing.
I wonder if we, who are providing the compassion for people who are homeless, have everything backwards. We sometimes feel like those we are helping should be grateful. We think they should send us sweet words of thanks, to make us feel good.
I see this new homeless plan as a hopeful approach for dealing with an entrenched, decades-old dilemma. Changing the system means changing people’s lives.
After 20 years, the work of ending homelessness is much more difficult. The people we help are much more chronically homeless than before. Our supporters are more jaded. Our community is less compassionate for people who have been on their streets for decades.
I wonder how the 650,000 people in New York and New Jersey who lost their homes during Hurricane Sandy would have responded if government officials had told them to wait a half a year, while they figure out a plan to help them?
But here in Los Angeles, where 44,000 of our neighbors have lost homes and live on our streets, the political power of these people we call “homeless” is so weak that it is okay for our community to put on hold any idea of a “state of emergency.”
What does it say when the United States—which has enough funds to build a house for every single person in the country, never mind every person who is homeless in New York City and Los Angeles—allows its citizens to languish on the streets?
Back home in Los Angeles, where homelessness has increased by 12 percent, the sprawling tent cities of America’s homeless remind me of the desperate refugees half a world away. Exhausted, sick, and somber people residing in tents on sidewalks, many of whom have given up hoping to escape the streets.
But then the parties started. Out came the drugs. Cars pulled up and Harry’s new neighbors sidled up alongside them, negotiating with the drivers. His street had become a swap meet for illegal substances.