People are starting to feel that the end of the recession is near, if not over. So, will empathy for people living on our streets be sustained?
Tag Archives: homelessness
Once upon a time, there was a large, bustling city called HomeTown that was hit by a devastating earthquake.
Kidnapping is a serious accusation. It’s associated with missing children on milk cartons or snatched tourists in some far corner of the world, but it probably doesn’t make most of us think of people who are homeless. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the Detroit Police Department of kidnapping members of the city’s [...]
I am homeless, but I don’t I need your pity. Not even if I am a 66-year-old man, perched on the edge of the curb and looking like I should be in convalescent care. Or an anxious young mother, barely old enough to drive, sitting in a beat-up old car with a baby in the back seat. I don’t need, or want, your pity.
The sequestration saber-rattling on the other side of the country pronounced the end of White House tours and the annual Easter egg hunt, cuts that would “never” affect Jason or the thousands of other Americans living in subsidized housing. But when the federal government seized part of the funding of numerous important public programs, subsidized housing was one of them.
Vulnerable. It’s a word we often use to describe the clients our programs target—individuals who have serious health, mental health, and substance abuse challenges; who are frequent utilizers of hospitals and emergency rooms; and who are at high risk of dying on the streets. Veterans, seniors, families, and youth also often fall into that category. But, when we’re talking about more than 650,000 homeless people in our country, what does “vulnerable” really mean?
Is our struggling economy the culprit? There just isn’t enough money to spend on helping people who live on our streets. We can barely fund our police officers and firefighters. Teachers are being laid off and city workers are being furloughed. Maybe it’s easier to blame others than to figure out how to fund more housing….
It took six years to get to this opening, from the formation of a vision task force in 2007 to the moving in of some of the city’s most chronically homeless citizens.
It seems to me that ending homelessness is more than just building apartments, filling them with furniture, and then moving someone in. Ask anyone who is housed, but lonely—a senior with no family support, a recent divorcee sitting in an empty new apartment, or a recently housed formerly-homeless person—if their house feels like a real, loving home. Without care and support, a home just doesn’t feel as warm and comfortable to its inhabitants.
We cannot end homelessness with solutions that are temporary. People experiencing homelessness need something real. Something permanent. Something they can call home.