One of the biggest handicaps to an effective, community-wide response to the issue is that much of the work in our fair city involves paper-based bureaucratic strategies which too often fail.
The most effective strategy helping virtually any of the marginal populations being helped so unsuccessfully by government/nonprofits operating like this is the old-school one-on-one approach, exemplified by this article from the National Catholic Reporter.
Just imagine for a moment that you have no home.
What will you do for meals today? Where will you shower? Where will you sleep? If you have children, how will you provide for them?
How will you cope with being homeless tomorrow, next week, next month?
Such imaginations are distressing, aren’t they?
Last winter, I took imagining what it would be like to be homeless one step further. I lived one day in Baltimore as a homeless man trying to stay warm and fed. From street to soup kitchen to shelter I ventured.
I learned a lot that day about how rough it is to have no place to call your own. But later that night, my experience as a homeless person ended. I got in my vehicle and headed for home.
But for 100 million people throughout the world, not having a home to go to each night is a hard, sad reality.
And in the United States, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 3.5 million people — 39 percent of whom are children — have no place to call home.
Recently, I spoke with Ken Leslie, a former homeless alcoholic and drug addict who is now a leading advocate for people who have no home. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Leslie founded 1Matters, an organization inviting each of us to “Be 1 that matters to 1 that matters.”
As their motto indicates, one-on-one relationships help break down homeless stereotypes and build community.
Retrieved November 10, 2014 from http://ncronline.org/blogs/making-difference/everyone-deserves-home