The thing about homelessness
There’s a sense of urgency when we talk about the homeless. We talk about the need for housing. Because of the need for health Care. But what we don’t seem to consider is that housing Is only part of what it means to be human. It’s an important part and often overlooked part. But it’s still only part. What Do we all share as humans housed or homeless? We share a need for belonging. We have an innate need for community.
Professional services have to be humane. They have to have boundaries and have to be affrming at the same time. If the service is offered but only first come first serve, or only on the basis of qualification by Federal guidelines, then we cannot call these services adequate.
We must always keep in mind that society Is punishing the poor faster than Homeless services can serve them.
Why are the poor always “among you”? Because our families are so broken. Because the wage gap is growing faster than ever. Because churches are full of the same paranoid people that run our government. Without courage to do the right thing We will always come up with excuses For maintaining things the way they are at all costs.
Local state and federal laws are the reason we are in this mess. Missouri Medicaid refuses to expand. Metro area hospitals continue to dump their poor onto an already overburdened shelter system.
City’s human services Is poised to pull a rabbit out of the hat in 2015. While the number of homeless Continues to rise they claim they will have ended chronic by that date. They are not educating the public as to what this will look like.
The public don’t know who qualifies as chronically homeless or how many more dont qualify or have no access to services every day.
They only hear the message again and again To trust that the professionals know what they’re doing and that the homeless are being placed in apartments.