A Little Homeless History

For the longest time, homelessness was considered somewhat of a stagnant issue.  People assumed homelessness to be just one thing that required just one response, and society was satisfied with that.  Back then, the answer to the question “how can I help” was easily and simply answered.  But in the past couple decades people have been taking a new look at the question and the answer.

The 1980s saw the first big increase in homelessness in the United States, and the news media was quick to report the growth.  And though people were becoming more aware of homelessness, by way of increased news coverage, homelessness only continued to grow.  As it grew, so did the media coverage. For this, homelessness could no longer be ignored.

In response, more people got involved in serving the needs of the homeless, And these people began asking questions about the current care homeless people were receiving.  Not liking the answers they received, and being disappointed by the status quo, and by the resistance to change by the old guard, these new workers in the homelessness industry started developing their own responses to homelessness.  Their involvement shed new light on the subject,  challenged the old assumptions, and began a new era for the homelessness industry, one that is still growing, and one that  continues to receive a good deal of push back on various fronts.

The business community is still hoping for a cost free solution to ending homelessness, an unrealistic response to say the least.   The Christian community is reluctant to release its leadership position in the homelessness industry.  Reluctant to admit that they don’t have the best response to homelessness, people of faith fear the implication of a perceived failure.  And politicians who have to deal with a constituency that is still mostly ignorant about homelessness.

What can I say?  Most people fear change.


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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