Narratives On Homelessness

There are many narratives on homelessness.   Some say that there are as many narratives as their are homeless people – and they often say that each narrative is as unique as the person telling it.   But I have found that if you strip down these narratives, these stories of homelessness, you’ll find some common threads running through them all.   One such theme is “homelessness is not my fault”.

Whether it is a homeless person, or a local business man, or someone working at a homeless facility, when they tell the story of homelessness, you will find that their story is crafted in such a way as to avoid assigning any guilt to themselves.   The business man will blame the homeless person, or the homeless facility.  The homeless facility worker will blame either the homeless person, or society.  The homeless person  will claim to be a victim of circumstance.

The reason for all this “blaming” is a result of defensiveness, and all this defensiveness is the result of people obsessed with passing judgment on everyone and everything, people, organizations, the government, etc.  (It has always struck me funny that the people of United States, being so preoccupied with passing judgment on others, still espouses to be the harbingers of “freedom”.   Sadly, Americans spend most of their freedom working to take away freedom from others.)   Why would a free people be so obsessed with telling others how to live?

Being judgmental has a way of stifling people, making them unwilling to talk openly and honestly with each other. People would be more open and willing to discuss even the most difficult aspects of life, including those aspects in which they themselves fail, if only people would not be so judgmental.

The thing is, we all fail.   We fail at most everything all the time, there is very little perfection in the world.   And when it comes to homelessness – the homeless person, the business men, the churches, the organizations designed specifically to deal with homelessness – we are all failing, and miserably so.

For the sake of ending homelessness, lets put aside the judgmentalism, with the blaming, and lets get on with accepting the fact that things are not going the way they should, and that we should move on towards honestly solving homelessness.



About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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