As I was reading the article More Cities Are Making It Illegal To Hand Out Food To The Homeless, the idea that “street feeding is one of the worst things to do, because it keeps people in homeless status… it’s very unproductive, very enabling, and it keeps people out of recovery programs” is extremely naive and ignorant.
What we severely need are jobs – full time jobs with a livable wage that include benefits that to meet all actual and potential needs.
This problem of understaffing, allowance and encouragement of workplace violence, not enough jobs, a lack of employment opportunities, incredible amounts of weed-out processing that goes into hiring processes, lack of proper health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), and lack of listening – truly listening – ends up “biting” people – and ultimately organizations, communities, and society as a whole – ‘in the butt.’
People aim to survive through whatever means possible. There are so many, many unmet needs in all areas including, but not limited to, mental, medical, and social services.
People work two, sometimes three, jobs to provide an income. Even while being employed with two or more jobs, many still live in a car.
People become homeless because of providing medical care for their loved one with the unguaranteed hope that they will survive and that they will be able to “land on their feet again.”
People go into debt to go to school in order to find a job then find that even education cannot provide jobs.
Yes, some people “eek the system,” but these are the minority rather than the majority. Even with these in the minority, we must ask ‘Why?’
How we perceive, solve, investigate, and challenge what is truly going on may lead toward ideas to solve problems, leave things in stagnation, and/or devastatingly hurt all involved.
Income opportunities, survival needs, and employee/employer relations are huge problems that create a seemingly impossible mountains to be moved and overcome.
Those of us who have the potential to help, heal, and serve those who need are sometimes applauded. Others are shut up, shunned, ignored, not listened to, and more.
People in need are blamed, ridiculed, ignored, shut-up. Helping organizations want to know who, what, when, where, why, how before they lend a helping hand – if they do so at all. So many people and organizations are afraid of being scammed, taken advantage of, being slighted, and more.
The real questions are: “What can I do to help?” “How?” “What are the obstacles present within myself that are creating the inability and unwillingness to understand, comprehend, and – ultimately – help?” “How can I overcome these obstacles?” “What are the external challenges to be overcome?”
Let us thoroughly seek knowledge, understand the perspectives of those – and what is – in question, find ways to provide the opportunity to overcome these challenges within macro- and micro- level(s).
Let us learn about – and overcome – these challenges before we all – except the very few – become just we see “them” to be — homeless, on the streets, dependent on the assistance of others, and more.
All “they” are trying to do is put one foot in front of the other — sometimes going forward, sometimes going back, but — for now — are focusing on staying alive, desperately trying to find a minute glimmer of hope toward being able to truly live again.
Let us actively engage what we’ve learned, and do what we can, to make an impact toward meeting needs of others, ourselves, and society as a whole.
Let us learn, love, and serve in peace and light.