Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Not trying to 'steal' Kevin's words, but the info he gives is so well put, I enjoy adding his exceprts to the web blog. Besides, we are trying to get ready for our 4th of July celebration "A True Day Of Freedom." We have invited those who are homeless and in the weekly motel, along with church members and organizations to come out for a cookout and sit down together, one human to another.

Kenin's Post
Where Is The Problem?

Trying to solve the problems of homeless people, while they are still homeless, is like trying to impregnate your wife while wearing a condom.

Homelessness is not, itself, a problem, but only a symptom of a problem, or problems. Actually, being homeless is the greatest obstacle to overcoming the problems causing homelessness. Only when the person is removed from the homeless environment can his/her problems be dealt with effectively.

Still, the organizations developed to handle the problem of homelessness operate with blinders on. They deal only with the homeless within the confines of homelessness. They keep people homeless while trying to work on their problems.

The environment created by most homeless service providers is restrictive; in many cases they operate similar to prisons. Homeless people are warehoused, are moved from one place to another within the homeless facility like herded cattle, and are afforded no personal space, or individual consideration. Is it any wonder, when homeless people go to such facilities for help, that their problems only worsen?

Of course, taking a homeless person out of homelessness, without dealing with the problems that lead him/her there, is the best way to guarantee their return to the streets. It's called recidivism.

So then, what would be the way to solve the problem of homelessness? First get the homeless person back into a home - a real home - not some "facility." And hire a case manager to guide the now formerly homeless person toward cures for their problems.

Given the same amount of money being spent on homeless people at "facilities," my idea could also be enacted. And I believe that my idea would be more effective - would be a more permanent solution. Of course it would put a lot of social workers and "chaplains" out of business.

And, of course, putting a homeless person back into a home means ending their homelessness. Homelessness, then, is no longer a consideration, no longer a problem. With homelessness out of the way, the real problems facing these people can be addressed.

It would be the end of homelessness.

Today's Nashville City Paper ran an article on homelessness. In the article, Father Strobel, of the Campus for Human Development, put the price tag of dealing with homelessness at anywhere from 15,000 to 50,000 dollars per person per year.

Wouldn't it be better for a person to deal with his problems, that lead to his or her homelessness, in a home, rather then in a facility.

Certainly some folks would not be able to function within such a framework as I suggest, but many, if not most, could. Wouldn't it be worth a try?


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