The Crisis of HomelessnessThe US homeless housing crisis today affects over a half a million people, both individuals and families. This post is one of a series of blog posts, The Poor Middle Class Crisis.
• introduces the homeless housing crisis itself
• is a vehicle for the public to become more aware of this crisis
• provides resources of services that are available to the homeless
• is part of the goal to help end homelessness
Mark Horvath and Invisible People Fighting Homelessness
How I Am Different From A Homeless Person or FamilyWhat makes me different from a homeless person? I still have dignity, self-respect and a sense of belonging. Other people treat me with respect. I have a roof over my head and my name is on the lease. Without that roof and a permanent address, I become part of the homeless housing crisis community. This can lead to the loss of many other qualities of life. We take so many things for granted. Things like:
• having a dwelling with several rooms
• accessing a kitchen to cook in
• sleeping in a warm bed
• taking regular baths or showers
• grooming oneself regularly
• washing clothes
• having medical and dental care
Without these amenities, one can spiral down, beginning to look and even feel different. A homeless person can become so different that they ultimately become invisible to the rest of the world.
Invisible PeopleMark Horvath, a champion for the homeless, calls the homeless, Invisible People. He seeks to end the homeless housing crisis in his lifetime.
A Homeless SpokespersonThis video bring out some crucial issues. Certain things are needed by a homeless person to become employed again. The public thinks these are luxuries. They are not. Everyone needs a cell phone and a laptop. Both the employed and those seeking employment need them for their work.
Smartphone & Social Media: A Solution to Combat Homelessness | TEDxSyracuseUniversity
A Homeless Person’s LifelineSocial media, a cell phone and iPad in particular are the lifelines for a homeless person. They are often the sole means of communication with another person. It may be a family member, a friend, another homeless person, calling for help or a ‘warm line’ to hear a friendly voice at the other end of the line.
Essentials For The Homeless IndividualBesides the ‘life and death’ things like food, shelter, clothes, blankets and medical care, these are also essentials for survival when someone is homeless:
• clean socks
• a place to receive mail like a PO Box
• a cell phone and laptop
• access to a cell phone ‘warm line’
• knowledge of wifi hot spots
Shelter For The Homeless Individual or FamilyMany homeless people agree that official homeless shelters are not the best place to stay. As a result, homeless groups band together to seek safe, optional homeless housing. Protected, warm spaces are the priority. The homeless create homeless housing communities like tent cities. Groups gather within the infrastructure under bridges. Abandoned tunnels are popular homeless dwellings. Assistance organizations do exist in some states. There are homeless housing programs for veterans, as well. Families are put in temporary hotel housing. But much more needs to be done to eliminate homelessness in the US.
How To Help End HomelessnessWe can help end homelessness:
• Donate to InvisiblePeople.tv.
• Increase awareness about the homeless housing crisis
• Speak in public about homelessness in our communities
• Hold a presentation about Invisible People
• Contact our elected officials
The federal government has been working on a plan to end homelessness. Ask them how the plan is coming along. You can read a print version of the plan here.
Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
Remember, the only concrete difference between is and most homeless people or families started with one thing. We still have our own roof over our heads. Someone who is homeless has lost theirs.