Divine Calm: Homelessness Links to Ponder

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1.13.2006

Homelessness Links to Ponder

As some of you may already know, my father is homeless and mentally ill, so I have a personal interest in the subject of homelessness. However, I am finding my views on the topic to be evolving and am, by no means, an expert on how to improve the plight of the homeless.

Please visit the following links and feel free to tell me what you think about the issue.

Groups survey 20 ‘meanest’ cities for homeless - U.S. Life

“People for the first time are talking about ending homelessness and developing 10-year plans to do so," he said. "There’s no one city getting it right. There's no city sheltering all of its homeless, but there are cities that are making progress. Key West, for example, made our ranking a few years in a row but they’ve done some positive things in the last two years.”

But cities aren't getting any help from the federal government, Stoops said, citing legislation passed in December by the House and Senate that is meant to slash Medicaid funding by $4.8 billion and trim Supplemental Security Income assistance by more than $700 million over the next five years.

Virginia Gal's Blog said this today:

Saw on the news that some punks in Ft. Lauderdale beat up (with bats) three homeless people. I started to cry. How could anyone do that? Homeless people are the bottom of society, the most defenseless, many suffering severe mental health problems. Beating on them (one died) is like kicking a puppy, reprehensible. Where is our morality? What kind of society are we creating that these, looked like affluent white kids, would feel a need to do this, to physically harm another human being, for what gain? What do these poor people have in their lives already anyway? Why would you hurt them further? oh great, I'm starting to tear up again.

And, if you want to read an intelligent and insightful blog by someone who has been homeless, please read The Homeless Guy:

This entry:
"It's amazing how a reputation of being homeless taints people's perspective of you."
Or this entry:
As the song goes, "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong." So, as far as I see it, there's plenty of blame to go around where homelessness is concerned. The homeless, Churches, government, regular citizens, are all guilty of this blight on society.

What I believe should be the focus of all our attention in this matter is the current lack of Prevention and proper Response to homelessness. The "cause" of homelessness, which nobody seems to be able to get their minds around, would becomes a moot point if adequate prevention was in place. With the existence of Prevention, Response to those already homeless is all that's required. (I do believe that prevention can be created without a full understanding of the causes, though I'm sure it would help.)
By the way, I'm not satisfied with simply being thankful I have a comfy bed to sleep on at night. I want others to join me in becoming more educated on this issue. With education, awareness, and preventative outreach, we can better help those who are already or about to become homeless in our communities.

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