My view of homelessness is one of a person who has experienced it, and who had to fight like hell to get out of it. Sometimes I had to battle the “system” which was trying to “help” me. Here is my wish list for more awareness into the causes of homelessness.
1. I wish people would not shove their unhappiness with the greedy, materialistic rat race (and their part in it) on the homeless. If you are under mountains of debt, struggling to keep up the appearances with you fake friends by over extending yourself, and MISERABLE about your choices in this competitive world, don’t take it out on a homeless person!!! Find out who you are and get some peace in your life before you bash Joe Homeless over the head for “not getting a job”.
2. I wish agencies and charities would work together and not provide so much overlap or so much bare spots in their coverage of other people’s needs. Overlap encourages abuse of the system, and bare spots show the public that you have no idea about the needs of the people you are intending to serve.
3. I wish there were better mental health service and advocacy for people who need this help. Seems like the scammers are getting all the services and the people who really need it are dying in doorways. Get out of your offices and look for those who are truly down-and-out. They are right there, under your feet.
4. I wish all agencies that handle homeless people were filled with compassionate, fair people. Since this will probably not completely come to pass, I wish that those who are in contact with the homeless be monitored by a government agency to make sure they are not ruining someone’s life (and causing their death) by callously rejecting their petition for assistance.
5. I wish people would get off other people’s backs for feeding the homeless. If they want people to work for the food, then create small service projects for the homeless before giving them food. Starvation should not be the only option.
6. I wish government officials would seek out the views and opinions of former homeless individuals and use those ideas to set policy. Don’t ignore our hard-won knowledge!
7. I wish every homeless person knew that there is hope, and the help you need is there (if you seek it out). But sometimes you have to fight for it.