Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How Do We End Homelessness and Is It Even Possible?

This is a response to HG's blog post on ending Homelessness

That’s going to depend on what someone’s definition of homelessness is.

Homelessness is a global issue. How deep are you and I willing to go to find the “cause” of homelessness?

Is homelessness found predominantly in industrial societies? Is it also happening in tribal societies (which in my mind are usually smaller, and not focused on “money” as the means of income)?

Is homelessness: The street people? The poor? The destitute? The addicted (pick your element of addiction)? The panhandlers? The mentally challenged? The physically challenged? The emotionally challenged? The spirit (no, I’m not talking about religion or religious beliefs) challenged? A mix of any from column A, B, and C?

Does ending homelessness mean: No more people on the street? No more people couch surfing? No more people in socially defined unhabitable places (and if so, which society makes the definition)?

Having a home is a multitude of things … it’s not just having the space to “be”; it’s having the ways and means to find, maintain, and provide the constructive growth of space to “be”.

Having a home is not just having a safe space to sleep; it’s about believing you have a right to be in the world.

I believe homelessness can be ended with educating both the homed and the homeless in awareness, self-esteem, acknowledgment, validation, and self-worth.

More and more people are becoming homeless … whether they fit the stereo-typical image of homelessness or not.

The core beliefs of the society — what we teach each other — is what needs to be changed to end homelessness.

A paradigm shift, if you will.

Elsewise, homelessness will not end, it will merely transform and be represented in differing ways.

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