Homelessness is only a symptom of other problems. So it doesn’t do any good to attack homelessness without attacking the problems that lead to homelessness. But for the most part, that’s all society does. Every homeless person, regardless of why they are homeless, are corralled into the same overcrowded place.
Imagine if we did that with another common symptom. What if we put everyone together in the same place who had a runny nose? The website Wrong Diagnosis lists over 700 different ailments with “runny nose” as a symptom. Would it be right to stick people suffering from allergies with people suffering from the flu? By putting people with these different ailments together, and treating them all the same, you will be doing more harm than good.
But, that is exactly what is happening in homeless shelters all over America. The worst of it being the faith based homeless shelters that ignore all the over very real issues facing homeless people, and attempt to reduce all homelessness to a simple cause of faith, or rather, a lack thereof.
It is so very important, in the work of ending homelessness, that people work to find the real definitions and causes of homelessness. An ailment cannot be cured if it is not properly diagnosed.