It is REALLY REALLY easy to think this way – “The way to end homelessness is to build more homes! More housing, means less homeless, which means homelessness is gone!”
I get caught thinking this way constantly. It is hard to wrap your head around what it could be like to have to be on the street or jumping from couch to couch from relative to relative or spending your day finding the shelter that will have a place for you. I start thinking that all we need to do is to get homeless people back into a home! Which is the correct step, I have spoken about the housing first approach in earlier posts. However, it is not the WHOLE staircase.
“The second night I ended up on the floor with a pillow. I hadn’t slept in a bed for 20 years.”
This quote came from an article in The Vancouver Sun, and it tells the story of a homeless man who had lived on the streets for 22 years. Later on in the article it states that he even went back to the bush to sleep outside because he was so restless at night.
If you read the entire article you will get the point I am trying to convey. The point is that we need to raise more awareness about the importance of having support services ALONG with affordable housing. Being homeless is more than just being without a home, people who are homeless for extended periods of time can lose touch with society. Once they are put back under a roof, like the man in the article, they may still not know what resources are out there to help them keep moving forward.
You can help us change that! Help cover a lot of need in Indianapolis. HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program not only provides housing services, but also employment training, health care, outreach, intensive case management, and rental assistance. BLANKET INDY WITH CARE this February, and help the homeless in our community receive more than just the FIRST step to ending homelessness.