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?
Tag Archives: homelessness
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.
I wonder if this country could ever imagine, I mean clearly picture, a nation without homelessness. Maybe if we closed our eyes, and saw empty streets and empty shelters, it could actually become a reality.
When a once-in-a-decade act of God descends on our country’s coastline, commercial and residential properties are inevitably damaged or destroyed by the angry wind and rain.
Super-storms bearing names like Katrina and Sandy wreak havoc on the lives of people who live in their paths. Katrina ruined 1.2 million homes in the South, and Sandy destroyed 380,000 homes in the East.
When the wind died down and the wreckage was assessed, many families and individuals were deemed homeless.
Do I dare ask if these people were really homeless?
In today’s hurry-up society, we want our microwave dinners heated in minutes and our mail sent electronically in seconds. We want our societal problems to go away within months, not years.
Just go away gridlocked traffic, smog-infested air, deranged shootings.
Just go away homelessness.
With homelessness still rampant throughout our country, a top ten list about how this country is working its way toward ending homelessness certainly affects most Americans. Here are the Top Ten Steps this country made toward ending homelessness in 2012.
Out of 365 days a year spent sleeping on the streets, Thanksgiving must be one of the best—a full stomach, real conversation with other people, and celebrities and politicians providing the royal treatment. But after the trays of turkey and bowls of mashed potatoes are empty, after all the volunteers return to their families to celebrate a “real” Thanksgiving meal, the magic of Thanksgiving comes to an end. Tomorrow has come.