Monday, November 26, 2007

"Helping" The Homeless

I will edit this post from time to time but I want to get these thoughts down for now. Homeless individuals (not "folks" I'm sick of that word - it has become plastic).

Homeless individuals must be "categorized" in order to budget for the enormous costs that will be associated with "helping" them.

A few Categories to start are:

Youth - all under 16
all under 20
all under 30
all under 40
all under 55
all under 70
all under 80
all under 85
all under 90
every 3 to 6 months after 90 until passing on to next life occurs. ("death")
Mentally Ill
TYPE of Drug Addiction ie. crack, alcohol, meth
Domestic Abuse - female only
Domestic Abuse - males only
Categories that may need to be further separated:
existing family that is in contact with homeless individual
no existing family that is in contact with homeless individual
previous criminal record
no previous criminal record
No drug addiction - down on luck individual (not self imposed reason for being homeless - willing and able, clean record individual)
College Educated
High School Educated

The reason for all the age categories is because the needs are so different just from an age point of view. In other words, the younger an individual, the more intensive one-on-one care is needed so that this one individual's life as the best chance of being turned around. The elderly will need much more medical attention than a younger person generally speaking. So you have an intake center staffed 24/7 and when someone walks in for help you start with age and go from there.

We must find jobs for persons with a record of a non-violent crime such as drug possession. We must do something different in regards to their punishment and the aftercare of these individuals. Otherwise, we are spinning our wheels. If you do not attack and "help" the psychological part of "why" a person is involved in criminal activity, you are wasting tax dollars.
"Lack of Affordable Housing" being preached as root cause of homelessness. Puh-lease! (puh-lease stolen for Jennifer Engle's blogsite sports writer Star-Telegram)
Has educated America forgotten the definition of "root" cause? Root causes of homelessness are as follows:
1. lack of responsible, nurturing, caring parents through childhood

2. lack of ability to obtain job due to criminal record (even a non-violent record)

3. Persistent and severe mental illness

If we were to put our money towards reversing and dealing with these three categories, homelessness would be decreased in years to come. You ask how do we deal with numbers 1-3.

Well, we do following:
1. PARENTING - hold irresponsible parents accountable for their lack of parenting. Example, if you don't show up for parent-teacher conference, your held accountable. If your child comes to school in distress, homework not done, the parent is held accountable, etc.

2.CRIMINAL RECORDS - deal with non-violent crimes in a much different way than we are currently doing. Example, drug possession, you go to rehab confinement to serve sentence where you get caring, teaching, learning, self-esteem building classes, anger management, etc. When thru with sentence, you go to aftercare strict program.

3. MENTAL ILLNESS - Needs to be included in health program - save this topic until I know more from experts. I do know that the mentally ill need to be with others and supported which at the current time, they are not, there is no where for them to go. MHMR is a total disaster from what I understand.
On a different note, in "helping" the homeless, an employer needs to be "way" flexible in hiring and helping these individuals. It's much like a ladder. They will not show up for work from time to time (if they are doing drugs or have any type of drug/alcohol "addiction") so an employer needs (and HAS to be) to be forgiving, understanding, empathetic, and at the same time, be firm -- be able to practise "tuff" love, this is extremely important) and the homeless individual MUST pay a consequence of their action of not showing up for work!! (VERY IMPORTANT!) However, the consequence must be with talking (building a relationship with the individual so that they "get" that "someone" really "cares," AND some little other consequence like work for free for one hour.......something along those lines.
In other words, they have to be given many more "chances" than you and I would ever get. These individuals are so "fragile" emotionally and most are professional hustlers, very street smart and must be dealt with accordingly -- that is IF you are really serious about "erradication" (ending) of homelessness.
In a City, the cost to tackle this would be astronomical, but in years to come, it would dwindle because you would ACTUALLY being attacking the "roots" of homelessness instead of TALKING about it, EXPLOITING it, and using it as an EXCUSE to get more taxpayers monies.

more later. Thanks for reading.

No comments: