Over the past few months I have been undergoing a number of internal struggles – all of which are part of my personal growth. The eventual outcome is still a bit fuzzy around the edges. But I suspect that there are going to be quite a few changes that will inevitably be required just for my own peace of mind.
During the time I was experiencing homelessness, I kept telling myself that I wanted to "reclaim" my life. I was under the impression that it was the material things in life I’d lost when I became homeless; that if I could somehow get those back, life could go on as before. I was wrong.
It’s true that I lost many material things in life, but there are others things I’ve lost as well. And there is no way to regain those things. They are gone forever. At best, I’ll be able to replace some of the material aspects, but it still won’t be the same; it will not be what it had been. Perhaps though, that’s not a bad thing.
I refuse to play the victim. Nor will I engage in the "woe-is-me" routine. I know better than to do that.
Yet, that leaves only one possible course of action – and the wheels are already in motion.
The advantage I have – unlike so many of the homeless in my community – is that I recognize that certain changes are inevitable; that they are necessary; and that I must pursue them with a determined purpose.
Many of the homeless I’d met during my time on the streets are still there. They are still having to sleep tucked away in some dark corner; behind buildings; hidden in some green belt.
It isn’t that they’ve lost the desire for a place to call home. Nor is it that they’ve given up on themselves. But they’ve been saturated by the fear that society won’t accept them – and for the most part society doesn’t accept them. It wants them gone. It doesn’t matter where, so long as it’s out of sight. Even, as when new legislation is created specifically to address homelessness, it generally takes the form of laws to restrict the movements and actions of the homeless.
Despite so many cities and their adoption of their so-called 10 Year Plans to end Homelessness, there will be very little that will be done to significantly reduce the numbers of homeless. The reason is that these 10 year plans are geared to help only the smallest segment of the homeless population: the chronic homeless.
The overwhelming majority of America’s homeless will not benefit from these plans whatsoever. And that saddens me.
Homeless children will not benefit from these plans. Homeless families will not benefit from these plans. The majority of homeless senior citizens will not benefit, nor will the majority of the other segments of the homeless population.
As I said, I recognize that there is a certain course of action that I will have to take for my own peace of mind.
But then, if I – one small singular life – can recognize this, how it is that our nation’s legislators with all of the studies, analysts, experts and so forth aren’t able to recognize that for the betterment of the nation, that changes need to be made with regards to how homelessness is being remedied? Or more accurately – how homelessness isn’t being remedied?
Or is it that our nations’ lawmakers have become so removed from real life; so infected by the political lust for power, that they are only able to care about getting themselves re-elected?