A Blow to the Head—romanhsantiago

Needs a Title

P1. Homelessness is one of those underlying issues in our country that not many people understand. Homeless people are usually overlooked by most people and viewed very negatively by others. Something that people tend to forget is that the homeless are people too they bleed like us and share the same air we breathe. In a perfect world this problem would have been solved a long time ago however fixing homelessness around the world is not an easy thing to do, but there are many things that can be done to combat this social issue.

P2. To begin to understand homelessness one must start from square one, the cause. People around the world are left homeless for a variety of different reasons however there are many similarities amongst most homeless people. In “The effect of traumatic brain injury on the health of homeless people” I read that 70% of homeless people have suffered from some kind of trauma to their heads resulting in moderate to severe mental illnesses that don’t allow them to live a normal life. “The Street Level solution” by David Bornstein talks about this as well when they explain the causes of homelessness. Head trauma leads to erratic mood swing, and explosive behavior. To deal with the pain and agony that comes along with a head injury people begin to cop either with drugs or alcohol. Most of the time this leads to severe alcoholism amongst the homeless. Thus people end up homeless. This is including but not limited to Military veterans, working class people as well as poor people, everyone’s lives could be changed in the brink of a second.

P3. Many believe that the solution to homelessness is simply giving homes to the homeless. Well this was tested and failed because the process made it very difficult to obtain one of these section 8 homes or other type of government aid. Something had to change. A new idea has risen and it entails a process of getting the homeless back on their feet and intergrade them into our society. An organization called Common ground is taking the broken process to aid homeless people and are adding their own spin to it. They are not only providing housing for the homeless they are creating a program which offers counseling and an array of classes for their residents to take. This is a great thing because they are teaching the homeless to cope and live a normal life to the best of their ability with their mental illness or in many cases just help the homeless get back on their feet and help them continue with their lives.

P4. Here in America homelessness is an issue that has gone down over the past few years when the veteran homeless rate dropped by 47%. However, under new administration how will this issue proceed to be helped. How will the US government battle homelessness in America when the funding for this program may be cut? Under President Trumps administration he has ensured that defense and entitlement programs will receive no cuts during his term. This leaves the money to be cut from other federal programs such as education, environmental, health and housing programs. If this occurs combating the ongoing issue against homelessness will become more difficult than it is currently and this country will be taking giant steps back toward finding a solution to homelessness. TCA Regional news wrote an article about homelessness in San Diego and told the story of a man who had his 4ft by 7ft home taken from because he was illegally lodging in a public area. The law does not make it any easier for the homeless. In many cases law enforcement takes from those who have nothing. An article by Laura Smith talked about how many homeless people carry around sleeping bags and blankets to keep warm during the winter season. Police officers across the nation have been “cracking down” on the homeless and seizing their belongings. Police officers are enforcing anti-camping laws and they are criminalizing the homeless. This is a growing issue in different cities in America, people are standing up to the problem though and speaking out for the homeless.

P5. San Diego has taken a huge step forward in implementing their Connections housing program to assure the health and well-being of the homeless, by not only providing housing but different counseling programs to help the homeless live a normal life in society as well as teach them how to maintain a fulltime job. While it’s true that the issue of homelessness is not just going to disappear overnight there are many things that can be done to ensure that progress is made. Why should the homeless be seen as less than others because of their situation. While there are some people who simply choose to be homeless many people have just had bad luck. Ive seen this first hand with a man who lived in my neighborhood as a boy. He worked as a lumberjack and one day a branch fell on his head and it completely changed his life. Although I was too young to know him personally I did realize that he was different. He would no longer wave and say hello to everyone he saw. I would sometimes see him speaking to himself walking in the street, or sitting on a park bench staring into thin air for hours. Eventually I just stopped seeing him around. My parents then told me he had left his family and was now living on the streets. His family tried to help him as much as possible he continued to refuse, almost as if being homeless was what he wanted. Moral of the story is no one deserves to be homeless people deserve to live a happy life and they deserve a second chance to do so. This is why it is so important that actions be taken toward not only finding housing for the homeless but giving them rehabilitation and helping them become integrated members of society.

Works Cited

Edwin_D_Rios. “Trump Hasn’t Said Much about Homelessness-and That’s Making a Lot of People Nervous.” Mother Jones. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

“EDITORIAL: The Only Real Solution to Homelessness.” TCA Regional NewsDec 26 2015. ProQuest. Web. 30 Jan. 2017 .

Smith, Laura, Marc Brünke/Creative Commons, Scott Carrier, Josh Harkinson, Mark Follman, and Ben Dreyfuss. “Denver Is Hardly the Only City Seizing Homeless People’s Gear.”Mother Jones. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

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3 Responses to A Blow to the Head—romanhsantiago

  1. Agent X says:

    Thanx for writing this. Thanx for caring. So many people do not and just wish it would go away or even punish the homeless both actively and passively in an effort to ignore it or make it go away. You obviously care and are making efforts to bring change. So… Thanx.

    In your paper you said:

    “Many believe that the solution to homelessness is simply giving homes to the homeless. Well this was tested and failed because the process made it very difficult to obtain one of these section 8 homes or other type of government aid.”

    I would challenge that conclusion. I have no doubt some studies have concluded this, but look into a method known as “HOUSING FIRST” and see the results it is having. I am not certain, but I think it began in the State of Utah (whether it started there or not, I am sure they are some of the main proponents of it and are have huge “success”).

    HOUSING FIRST started as a way of curbing costs to the public. Officials calculated that street homeless folk cost the system far more than regular folk. Consider living on the streets and catching a common cold or the flu. Most homeless try to tough it out, but in a couple days these mild illnesses become severe – especially when they are exposed to the elements. So, they wind up in the emergency room, sometimes via ambulance ride. Suddenly that cold, which regular folks treat by staying HOME in bed a day or two, drinking lots of fluids, getting rest etc, has become a major expense with ambulance, doctors visit, and often one or two days in the hospital with IV fluids and so forth.

    Then there is the expense of jailing these folks for trespassing or public intoxication. These usually are very low level crimes, neither of which are committed by folks with a place to live. But once arrested, the homeless person is going to jail for a week or a month, probably getting legal representation provided by the public defender office.

    Just these two examples alone demonstrate the HUGE cost a beggar/bum/tramp can ring up very easily and quickly. And such a person cannot afford to pay that cost. So the cost winds up being covered by tax payers.

    So, the officials calculating these costs then calculated the cost of taking the 100 worst/most costly homeless people off the streets and putting them up in apartments free of charge. Apartments tend to run cheaply between $400-$600 per month in a lot of states (probably not SoCal). If these 100 homeless people did not go to jail or the hospital anymore, the state would save hundreds of thousands of dollars per month almost instantly. So, they tried it. And it worked incredibly well. So well, in fact that they found it cost effective to actually build apartment complexes.

    The state of Utah then set out a plan to end homelessness by 2015. Of course that deadline has now come an gone. They were not 100% successful in meeting that goal, but last I heard, I think they were at about 90%, which is HUGE!

    This is effectively a matter of GIVING away housing. And once the officials did it, they found a large percentage of the people they helped managed to clean up their own lives and move off the public assistance. Not all, but a lot. The number was significant enough that lots of churches and non-profits started imitating the program around the country.

    I don’t know if every program around the country is having the same level of success as Utah, but I think it is more successful than any program before it… generally.

    But here’s the kicker, I am not really a HOUSING FIRST enthusiast. I am sure that sounds strange at this point, but I am a critic of it.

    Actually, I think it is on the right track, but devoid of a couple of important features that I believe will enhance it strongly.

    I just do not believe that four walls and a roof make a home. After all, jail has four walls and a roof, but it sure aint home. Dorms at college can be nice, they they aint home. Even temporary housing and apartments often make poor excuses for homes. There is a lot more that goes into a dwelling place to make it a home. And I believe homeless people need a HOME.

    I believe in order for a house to be a HOME it needs to have family, food, sharing, celebration, heritage and so forth. In a word, it is a SPIRITUAL matter to be homeless or home’d. HOME is spiritual in nature. And I have seen homeless men work their way off the streets, move into lonely apartments and fail at such living – I believe – due to loneliness which leads to poor judgment, poor decisions, addictive behaviors and so forth.

    I like HOUSING FIRST, but I think we need to address this spiritual aspect as we go about it. But that is just my two bits.

    I hope you will look into this research. I think it will aid you in your studies and in your vocation.

    Thanx again for caring and for blogging on this most important, but so often overlooked issue!

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

  2. davidbdale says:

    Some suggestions, Roman.
    1. They shouldn’t distance readers from the author.
    2. They shouldn’t scold readers for misunderstanding a situation.
    3. They shouldn’t express how important the topic is, or how long it’s been controversial, or that people often disagree about it, or that it’s complicated, or that people have mixed emotions about it.
    1. They should establish a strong bond with readers, using WE language.
    2. They should make provocative claims that DEMONSTRATE our shared misunderstandings.
    3. They should DEMONSTRATE the facts that make the topic complex and create disagreement among reasonable people.

    Your introduction contains perfectly reasonable material, important observations about homelessness and the homeless. But it creates resistance in your readers, who are told that they have not been attentive or generous enough to the homeless. To help them face the uncomfortable truth of their own ignorance or shortsightedness, it’s best to crouch down to the sidewalk level and admit that we’ve all felt helpless.

    P1. We don’t want to look at the homeless. They make us uncomfortable. We walk past them avoiding eye contact, or convince ourselves that they can’t be helped because of their own incorrigible behaviors. We know they’re humans in pain who share our sidewalks and breathe the same air we breathe, but they’ve been with us so long we’re convinced they’re a problem that can’t be solved. And for some that might be true. But for others, according to new research, radical solutions might be possible, solutions that start with looking the homeless in the eye and seeing ourselves there.

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