Housing the Homeless
p1. Being Homeless is a title given to those that have struggled to the point that living on the street is the only place they feel they can go. Many obstacles come with being homeless, the biggest obstacle being, without a home. But homeless people face a variety of other challenges too, such as being fined for being homeless, or not getting the proper care medically. One surprising, common struggle was stated by David Borestein. He discovered that one of the leading characteristics of homelessness was a head trauma. A simple blow to the head could cause a chain reaction that could lead to homelessness. Do these things mean that homeless people should not have a right to proper housing or the ability to a job? No, it means that they are more entitled to a right to these things. People should not be shunned or turned away for struggling to the point of homelessness, they should be given assistance, and aided to the point in which they feel they can come back into society. Helping Homeless people get back on their feet is not a useless and wasteful task, helping the homeless is a worthy cause.
p2. It is almost insensitive to assume that Homeless people do not acknowledged that they have some form of mental damage, or assume that all of them do not want to work and become stable again. and excerpt from Borestein’s piece reads “But that can be misleading, even to experts. When I asked Rosanne Haggerty, the founder of Common Ground, which currently operates 2,310 units of supportive housing (with 552 more under construction), what had been her biggest surprise in this work, she replied: “Fifteen years ago, I would not have believed that people who had been so broken and entrenched in homelessness could thrive to the degree that they do in our buildings.” (Borstein, NY-Times). To simply assume homeless people will not strive to come back into society is undermining to programs like Housing First, because it makes people think that it is a waste of money, when in reality it is the exact opposite.
p3. To clarify, Housing First is a program created by Rene Zepeda, and the whole goal is to get homeless people, who are in dire situations, into housing as soon as possible. While similar to Rosanne Haggerty’s program, Housing first differs because it wants to get the medically dire homeless into housing first. Some of these homeless people are out on the streets with medical issue that are not just head injuries. Things like liver failure, cancer, and other medically challenging issues plague the homeless community.”Homeless populations suffer disproportionately high rates of chronic and infectious disease, mental illness, and substance use-related health problems.2-6 Homelessness is consistently associated with longer and repeated hospital stays 7-9 and homeless individuals are disproportionately represented among frequent users of hospital care.(“ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the USA2014 134 ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the USA Ann Arbor, MI ProQuest 2013-.” Reference Reviews 28.4 (2014): 22-24. Web.) Medically needy Homeless people should not be brushed aside when they are people who are in need. These problems are temporarily fixed by medical respite programs, but Housing First and Haggerty’s program, which allows access to full housing, can decrease any chances of becoming seriously ill again because homeless people are not released back on the street.
p4. These housing programs are good for the homeless because it also acts as a grace period, and not just a permanent shelter. In the sense of a grace period, it allows the homeless to be reintroduced into regular society aspects, like being around and communicating with others. These skills are essential for the homeless to get back into the work force. When people say things like “why dont they just get a job?” Well the people who say that know that it is never that easy, especially for people who have not been around regular people, or those with head trauma. Once these people stabilize after a while, certain simple jobs like cashiers at 7-11, or other simple jobs like that can be given obtained by the previously homeless as a starting point for income, and that is what programs like Haggerty’s aims to do. People and programs like these are why the homeless can integrate back into society, slowly but surely. Getting homeless in permenant shelters is what provides them with a good starting point to get them back on their feet, head trauma or not, these people deserve to have a home and access to clean water and food.
p5. The real question surrounding this topic is “is it all worth it?” Doesn’t it seem expensive to shelter all those people for free, and providing them with medical needs, food, and water. As heartless as the notion seems, the homeless are very expensive to take care of, and that’s why a majority of cities would rather fine them and leave them on the streets than take care of them. Given the evidence from these articles it seems that it is a noble and fruitful task to put time and money into. The articles are compelling, for many of reasons, but the main one is that even if these people suffer from brain damage they have a right to a safe home and clean water. Many people think that homeless people did it to themselves, or that they deserve it for being lazy or having financial issues, but the economy is rough, and like stated previously, getting a job is hard, even for people who are not homeless. And Homeless people who have life-threatening medical conditions should not be sent back into the streets as soon as the hospitals are done with them. Solely the argument is compelling on a human level. No one deserves to be in that situation, regardless of their past, and being homeless is not a crime, so why do people and cops view it as such. Helping out the homeless, as expensive and time extensive as it is, should be a given because they are people in need and that is really it. So the articles are compelling and thanks to the authors who went out and gathered all the information about the Housing First programs, or what being homeless is really like, these articles could help convince and inspire other people to help.
Borenstein, David. “A Plan to Make Homelessness History.” Opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com. N.p., 20 Dec. 2010. Web.
Borenstein, David. “The Street-Level Solution.” Opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com. N.p., 24 Dec. 2010. Web.
“ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the USA2014 134 ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the USA Ann Arbor, MI ProQuest 2013-.” Reference Reviews 28.4 (2014): 22-24. Web.