We will find our own way outPosted by in Homelessness
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about homelessness it’s that you cannot rely too much on government programs to provide safety nets for it’s citizens. Used to be a time Social Services could prevent and get people out of homelessness but no more. Making cutbacks on the heads of those who need it the most is suicide yet it continues to happen. Let’s face it, people are self interested and the majority won’t get involved unless there’s “something in it for them” and no matter how hard you want to believe that isn’t true, it is. Then there’s those who think that somebody else is going to fix the mess we as a society have allowed to happen. If the government chooses to let the rest of the population not in the 1% wither and die, does that mean we should too? When the government does get involved, it’s usually overregulated and badly managed.
The homeless epidemic in this country is a disaster and should be treated the same way. There are just too many people in the world who believe that they’ve done all they can so they “let it go”. Well I’m sorry but us homeless people are done hearing that all the time. We are not disposable human beings nor are our children. We as a society are responsible for letting things get as bad as they have and we as a society are responsible for fixing it! Instead of trying old ways of doing things, don’t just think outside the box, get out of it and create a new model that works based on real time experience that proves what works and what doesn’t. Believe it or not, it’s not as overcomplicated as some would have us all believing. I suspect the problem is simply that those who want to help can’t, and those who can do more just don’t want to. Sure, I can sit around and justify all kinds of reasons for looking the other way at another person’s suffering but what’s the point? Rather than waste time with apathy, I’d rather be doing what I can to make a difference in the world I live in.
Here comes the “what if” segment of this blog: What if people volunteered their time in a massive fundraising event that is also a subtle protest? What if a group of people stood near exit off ramps and near major shopping areas and held up cardboard signs saying “I’m not asking for myself, I’m doing this because a newborn will be sleeping outside tonight if I don’t”? What if I approached local businesses one by one and literally begged them to donate a few dollars here and there on a regular basis to pay for motel stays for homeless families? What if entire neighborhoods held community yardsales for the needy and used the proceeds to create their own motel vouchers or to help pay rent to prevent folks from becoming homeless in the first place? I know of several churches with huge parking lots capable of holding homemade “carnivals” complete with $3 meal deals consisting of a hotdog, chips and a soda. The point is, there is always a way to raise funds without spending too much money on it. All you need is a willing spirit.
The above paragraphs being said, I’ve decided to start having little community meetings on Saturdays over at Kona Kai’s to educate people on what they don’t know about homelessness and who the local homeless people are and I will be inviting different people to them for different reasons. I already know that being put on indefinite waiting lists for housing puts everybody at risk and that the only way to save lives is to go around bureaucracy. We will have to find our own way out of the mess we got stuck with when social services and our economy got stripped.
See you all next Saturday!