7 Ways People Are Making Urban Life Better for Homeless Populations
Want to help an unhoused person? Donate to a homeless shelter near you.
Homelessness is a complex problem for a diverse population of people. Certainly, providing shelter helps those in need of it and treats the 'symptom' of homelessness. It is certainly needed but fails to address the broader 'disease'.
Homeless people are generally those who have experienced some kind loss; loss of self-respect, loss of work, loss of money, loss of loved ones, loss or lack of mental capacity, loss or lack of physical abilities, losses due to uncontrolled addiction, loss of familial ties, loss of employability due to criminal convictions, loss of the regimentation that they needed to get by after leaving military service, loss of will to even try to get out of homelessness, and many other losses that lead to the despair of homelessness.
This is a diverse group of people who have a variety of complex and diffferent needs in order to resolve their current situation, and require support to 'heal' if they can be healed.
Emphasizing the need for adequate shelter is certainly part of the story. But doing so without considering the rest of the story and potential ways of dealing with the issues that cause homelessness is the rest of the story - and needs as at least as much attention.
I like seeing these ideas and solutions, and I hope our local leaders are paying attention.
I'm not sure who should lead the charge on providing more alternatives to shelters for those homeless who refuse to go there, but hopefully nonprofits and government agencies can work together.
FEMA provides temporary shelter, showers, medical, etc during natural disasters, emergencies, etc, so why can't these facilities be used when there is no emergency for the homeless in an organized manner to create less disruption for everyone else? CDC recently rewrote guidelines for homeless shelters during COVID to reduce risk common to congregate setting. Using FEMA temporary shelters & facilities would support the new guidelines as well.