In regards to your advice to a homeless family to go to a shelter indicates a lack of understanding on the homelessness issue. For one thing, if this family is able to get into a shelter (many are full and have to turn people away), they may not want to. Have you personally talked to any homeless individuals or to anyone who works at a shelter? If not, allow me to “educate” you on what many experience at shelters.
For women, being out on the streets is dangerous enough and you would think that a shelter would be safer. I invite you to read a post by Eric Jonathan Sheptock regarding the treatment of women at a local shelter.
Need more? Then check out what Carey Roberts has to say about shelters for women.
Splitting up families is nothing new in the world of homelessness since many shelters are for men only, women only or women with children. If folks can’t get into a shelter guess what? They have the privelege of living out of their vehicles. Telling Scared from Texas that going into shelters isn’t breaking up the family is far from the truth. Families living out of their cars will tell you that in many cases, living out of their cars IS safer than going to shelters.
I suggest before giving any more advice to the homeless, it would be a good idea to do some research before handing out a convenient suggestion to just “go to a shelter”. Yes, there are some good ones out there but like I just mentioned, they may already be full.
To Scared of Lubbock, Texas, I have this to say. Please, please visit us at We Are Visible on Facebook if you can get access to the internet. We would love to talk to you about your concerns. Many of us, including myself have been and are in your family’s situation.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Looking back on what I would call a strange reality, being homeless while at the same time being busier than I’ve ever been in my life, is a paradox I am still struggling with.
To think it all started with one letter to an editor of change.org still boggles my mind. I would never have met Mark Horvath if it hadn’t been for change.org, nor would I have run across Eric Sheptock. Thanks to Mark I have met several grand souls that I am extremely grateful to count as friends (You all know who you are!).
Do you find it odd that the more you go out of your way to serve your community, the more you run into people with negative attitudes about what you’re doing? I love it! What better way is there of gauging attitudes among the masses about what homelessness is and who the homeless are? We are people and yes…some have addiction and mental issues but hey, so are people who aren’t homeless!
I look at it like this, taking the path of least resistance sure does look like conformity to me and from the looks of things, conformity doesn’t seem to be working so well. I strongly suspect that the service providers who take a different approach are the ones with the most success rates. Let’s be real here, although shelters can provide an immediate place to be on any given night, they were not intended to be permanent housing. Not only that, many people have to be turned away when the shelters are full and shelters are seeing unprecedented numbers right now. Tent cities are mushrooming as an alternative to the shelter system and yet…in a country that is supposedly wealthy….people are still dying in the cold because they had nowhere else to go but under a bridge or the nearest sidewalk.
Why do families have to experience homelessness when it could’ve been avoided if relatives in a position to help actually did so? How do soup kitchens help folks by putting limits on how many times the needy can eat there? Why is it a crime to sleep in your own car but not considered inhumane to penalize and jail folks for simply having no where to go?
Here’s one that has always bothered me: Why is the state willing to pay a stranger to raise your kids but won’t lift a finger to guarantee housing for the parents? If you don’t think this is true, look up foster parenting.
But what do I know about what it’s like to be a homeless mother………
Yes indeed, we humans and the way we think is a strange paradox.