Archive for the ‘Stereotypes’ Category

The data is in.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) indicates that "Housing First" is effective at preventing and reducing homelessness.

This begs the question: Why is "Housing First" such a tough sell?   (more…)

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Homelessness in the U.S. is an issue that has remained largely unsolved.

Too be sure, we’re getting better at offering shelter and meals to those experiencing homelessness. We’ve also become better at trying to provide better medical services to our homeless citizens. We’ve even eased up a bit on rigid registration requirements in our school systems to accommodate children who are homeless in an effort to provide them an opportunity to get an education.

Still — and despite all of that — the number of folks experiencing homelessness across our nation hasn’t declined. In fact, some communities have seen a sharp increase.   (more…)

As a society we’ve become quite skilled at assuming a person is homeless through some fault of their own — even when there is ample evidence to the contrary. I’m not sure why this is.

Perhaps it has to do with our having viewed homelessness through the eyes of stereotypes for so long that we aren’t willing to admit that we’ve been wrong. Or maybe it’s because if we concede that what we’ve believed all along is incorrect, we’ll have to come up with some way of explaining why we’ve done nothing to remedy homelessness.

All of which makes me wonder how long it will take before we do own up to it. I certainly hope it won’t be too much longer — especially for the sake of our nation’s children.   (more…)

Homelessness is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an easy issue to address. And although I personally do not believe that homelessness can be eliminated altogether, I am nonetheless convinced that we can significantly reduce the numbers of folks who are experiencing homelessness. But in order to do so, we have to look beyond the myths and stereotypes associated with homelessness.   (more…)

Despite data and evidence which points to the opposite, there are scores of folks who continue believe that homelessness is a choice.

Even during harsh economic times – such as the U.S. is currently undergoing, when jobs are scarce – there are those who still believe that the homeless are so because they refuse to "seek help."

Perhaps part of it is that folks mistakenly believe that there is an abundance of resources available for the homeless. And, as a result, it’s easy to assume that if they are not escaping homelessness it must be because they enjoy being homeless.   (more…)