My opinion is based on what I see and encounter and also from research.
Homelessness. Homeless people did not choose the lifestyle on purpose, misfortune made the choice for them consequently they should be generously assisted kind heartedly without social isolation, pity, job insecurities, humiliation, pitiful wages e.t.c. Learning by choice or pain, which would you rather settle with?
Unique story. Every person who has become homeless has a unique story about what happened to them. I can fill these pages about true stories I have been told by homeless people. A 10 year old boy whose house was destroyed by natural disaster had his father dead out of shock from losing his house and his mother has been in prison since he was 7 years old with no hope of coming back. He was eventually housed by his relatives whom in turn became abusive to him. After enduring abuse for couple years, he fled to the street. There was no one person to hold him in love and comfort him. This boy although older now (19 years) is still homeless with no help. Quite pathetic.
People are not homeless by choice. Many people believe that they are composed of criminals and drug addicts, sadly not so. The biggest thing people should realise is that people did not become homeless by choice. A large percentage are people who lost their houses through natural disaster and then their jobs. A lot of people who lost their houses through hurricane and fire outbreak are still homeless till date. One reason for their homeless is natural disaster.
Homelessness is increasing by leaps and bounds everywhere due to misfortune of natural disaster. There are now thousands of homeless men, women and children everywhere. In some cities they are camped in a particular area on the street, bypass, cars and under the bridges by heat ducts to keep warm. These includes richest cities in the world.
I am convinced that anyone can be made homeless at any time. Due to frequent occurrence of natural disaster, people can easily be made homeless and needy in a snap of finger. It is a reality that is rarely imagined till it hits. A lot of homeless people never saw it coming since they have been fortunate all their life.
Condescending thought of you people. From my point view, homeless people are psychologically affected by fortunate people with social segregation, discriminatory words, discriminatory body language that screams louder than words, pity look/act. Rubbing it on them that they are poor with diminished regards that they not bring misfortune on themselves and this to my mind is preposterous. The homeless and needy should be treated with kindness and assisted generously as they did not cause the misfortune.
Psychological trauma of sudden status change to self and the world. Bad enough, people who use to be fortunate and suddenly find themselves less fortunate struggle with a lot of challenges including but not limited to being pitied, less fortunate, humiliation, unable to afford things they would ordinarily, low perception, redefinition of status, treated as you poor people , health challenge, low self esteem. Also, mental and emotional trauma. The least the fortunate can do for them is to not add to the trauma list either with spoken or unspoken words. I am convinced that if you put yourself in a homeless person’s position, you will understand their hurt.
Save for rainy day. It is pertinent to cultivate the habit of saving. If all your assets are all you have in your house, then you should start saving today. Remember that today is the tomorrow we thought about yesterday.
Housing. The stock of affordable housing is dwindling as developers are building huge luxury condos aiming for richer clients making housing very expensive and consequently putting more people on the streets than ever before. People are becoming more vulnerable every day. I believe Government can build lots of publicly owned buildings to assist the homeless. Also, Government should generously assist and equip them with jobs, vocational skill training. What more, the Government should generously assist them with food, clothing and police protection to reduce sexual assault.
The homeless and needy should not be judged as architect of their misfortune rather they should be generously assisted. Help out when you can, talk to them if they are responsive. Impact them with love, care, information like you would love to if pIaced in their position.
Do not wait till it hits you. Choose to learn from people’s experience or have people learn from yours. An act of kindness won’t kill.