Speaking of the Homeless…

It is encouraging to see the number of agencies that are actually helping to eradicate homelessness, yet as I see it some seem more to profess to help the homeless. Our state report on homelessness is not so encouraging. It makes me wonder what these agencies are actually doing? Utah’s report is amazing. Why can’t every state put housing first? It makes more sense. This is not to say that we don’t need agencies to help the homeless get back on their feet, until they figure out something better, but that something better is already here. It’s been proven to work. I can’t help but think when agencies are no longer showing any improvement, do they not become just part of the bureaucracy then? We don’t need more bureaucracy, we need action. We need the homeless people in homes. Housing first.

Consumer Advocacy Work

Although one of my goals is consumer advocacy work for people who have mental illness, I do have other interests, and goals. Another interest of mine is working with people who are homeless. Particularly Outreach. There are homeless outreach programs that I think I would like to work for and also feel I could do well. I think I am able to do this non-traditional type job, as I am a non-traditional person in many ways.

Some people are homeless long term. They may feel isolated from society, ashamed or not good enough. Many have problems finding resources to help them. Many can’t get to the places that can help them. Many may be ill and need medication. These are the people I would like to try to reach. Outreach for the homeless would include many things like distributing much needed supplies such as food, clothing, blankets as well as information for resources in the community.  Another way may be to be a connection to help for them. Talking with them and finding out what keeps them from seeking what they need. Becoming a friendly face and a safe person for them is something I would like to do. It is not for everyone as many may say if they really wanted help they would take it. I want to be a person that will be non-judgmental enough to listen, learn, and find productive ways to help them and also to help them help themselves if possible.

This role is important to consider as it can be a form of trust building. It may be the only thing that finally gets a person the help they need.

Written in June 1, 2015, but never published publicly.