All posts tagged: Homelessness

What should we do about the homeless?

We have a dangerous cult in our society, or possibly two working together. Have you met any homeless people lately? Mentally ill, drug addicts, and criminals; that is how most of us see homeless people. I live near a city center, and homeless people are being chased out of their usual neighborhoods by new construction. I think that is why so many are moving into our community. They come with shopping carts and tents, and they settle in public parks. One couple put their tent, and large amounts of personal property, in a corporate parking lot. Imagine coming to work in the morning, and your parking spot is occupied, by a family in a tent. The ‘personal property’ was probably salvaged from garbage bins. I think the problem is growing this summer because the weather is warm. Another driver of this issue is that people, who are not good personal managers, are being chased out of their homes by high costs. When rents go up and people are evicted, they look for a new place …

A New Year’s Resolution: What if I want to start over?

I am writing this on January 1, 2022. That means we have a new year in front of us, and everyone I know is tired of the old one. We had an endless stream of bad news about our health, and the health of the economy, and political arguments. For me, the news every day was a toxic mix. This morning, I had text messages from friends and a relative, and they feel the same as me. There is not enough optimism at the beginning of this year. We need something new, and better. It might comfort you to know that God thought of this first: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43: 18 and 19) Those are the instructions from a higher source, the highest source, when we get lost in things that happen around us. It is easy to …

How to be homeless: Coping without God

2020 is an interesting year, so far. I don’t think we know how much the world around us is changing, mostly because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Some changes were happening slowly, but our response to a virus is making things move faster. I met some people a few days ago, and they surprised me. I was working at a site, and I took a break for lunch. For me, that’s a fast food snack. As I walked into the food outlet, I saw some young adults standing near me, and someone said ‘We need face masks to go in there.’ They wanted food, and the rules are to wear a mask inside a business. I have a government job and my employers supply me with more PPE than I need, so I gave them face masks and showed them how to use them. We talked for a while, and I remember one man saying that he needed to get a driver’s license from the Government some day. I think the whole group agreed, and …

Credit: Harold/Flickr/Creative Commons

But We Can’t Afford That

A few days ago, a young woman who lives near me overdosed on Fentanyl. Her family drove her to a hospital and I think someone did CPR during the ride. She almost died, but the hospital staff were able to save her. Something bothered me about that story, and then I noticed that they drove her in the family car; they didn’t call an ambulance. I don’t know the family but I guess they can’t afford a five-hundred-dollar ambulance ride every time their addict overdoses. Transporting critically ill patients in a private vehicle is something we should never do; the ambulance crew might save a life before arriving at the hospital. But that ride has a cost, the whole system costs millions, with dispatchers, EMTs, vehicles and equipment, and sometimes helicopters. And life-threatening problems like drug addiction are becoming epidemics. And another story; I keep the tickets from McDonald’s coffee cups. Where I live, each cup has a peel-and-stick ticket and a detachable card. Seven tickets will buy one cup of coffee. I don’t need …

Sleeping on paper and pavement in 40 degrees. Photo Graf Spee/Foter/CC BY

What is the biggest cause of homelessness?

It seems we regularly hear calls by activists and politicians to end homelessness and frankly governments have been trying to do it for years, without success. To effectively deal with homelessness, you have to find its cause and cut it off at the root. I was surprised, and then I wasn’t, when I read Emma Woolley’s article on her thoughts on the reasons for homelessness. Woolley writes for the Canadian arm of Homeless Hub that looks for solutions for homelessness. Many people point to the obvious — job loss, drug and alcohol addictions and mental illness as key reasons for homelessness — and though these are major contributors, oddly those who specialize in the care of homeless people do not consider them as the number one reason for homelessness. In her article What are the statistics on homelessness due to divorce?, Woolley pointed to two organizations Homeless Link and Crisis who both stated divorce or relationship breakdown was the number one cause homelessness. This can be between spouses or children and the family resulting in …