I remember my first encounter with extreme poverty.
Tag Archives: social services
Sometimes our efforts to battle homelessness feel like an uphill struggle, especially when society thinks self-portraits next to suffering people are part of a fun, adventurous game.
Those of us who have been operating emergency homeless programs for decades sometimes still struggle with the idea of letting people get a “free ride.” But, if our true mission truly is to house people no matter what, then softening the toughness in our love for people on the streets is simply the best approach.
If we operate like Santa Claus receiving a wish list from an impoverished person who is looking for food or shelter, what do we do with the “naughty” people? Deny them food, shelter, and housing?
The future is homelessness service providers stepping up as the adaptive initiators that just might finally end homelessness, like so many policymakers and think-leaders set out to do ten years ago.
Sometimes, I wish I had a venue to scream a shout-out at the top of my lungs so that everyone could hear about the amazing people who are working to end homelessness for themselves and others.
When you think about it, the organizations working to help those people who are forced to beg on our streets really aren’t that different.
We, the benevolent caretakers of people hurting on the streets, do our own form of panhandling. We send out letters asking for money. We tweet and post our stories on Facebook, hoping they will inspire people to give a few dollars. We talk about the people we serve with generous philanthropists, with the goal of receiving a big check.
One quick encounter became the inspiration to perform courageous acts of compassion for generations. That guy from Samaria, famously known as the Good Samaritan, picked up a hurting man along the side of the road to help him. That hurting man was the “enemy,” from another tribe, another religion. It would be like Romeo’s mother […]
In England, they are called Social Impact Bonds. Here in the states, they would be called Pay For Success Bonds. The simple explanation is that the federal government would issue “social bonds” that private investors could purchase. The money would be invested in social programs that show a cost savings to society. If programs meet their goals, investors get a return on their investment.
I am no longer surprised when I receive an email from a nonprofit group announcing their dissolution of operations. More and more charity groups are going out of business. Typically, these organizations are small, with little capacity to weather this current economic storm.