The Truth Finds A Way

Despite the fact that there are more efficient and effective ways of returning homeless people back into mainstream society, people still insist that the homeless be put through rehabilitation programs ranging from 90 days to a year, or more. One organization actually requires a three year commitment from homeless people to their program.

Though the Housing First models have proven such programs to be wasteful of time and money, people are still insisting that the homeless submit to such programs before giving them the opportunity to return to a more normal life.

And this got me thinking, since these programs are not really necessary, and the homeless are not asking for these programs, then who are they really for?

Some would say that issues such as addictions and mental illnesses cause people to become homeless and so the homeless must overcome these problems before they can maintain a home. But this has proven to be false time and again. There are many people with supposedly “debilitating” issues who are still able to maintain their homes. I have said it many times, though it falls mostly on deaf ears, that these issues do NOT cause homelessness. Homelessness is the result of a person coming to the belief that maintaining a home is no longer of any benefit to him or herself. Homelessness is the result of a mindset, perhaps inspired by a situation, but is not a result of the situation itself. This is why I say that all homelessness is a mental health issue.

But I digress.

Putting homeless people through the paces of rehabilitation programs is done not for the sake of the homeless person, but for the sake of society. They are not preparing the homeless for a “homed” life, but preparing society for the homeless persons return. It is society that is uncomfortable with accepting a homeless person “back into the fold” until the homeless person jumps through all the hoops placed between him and the opportunity for housing assistance. Whether the homeless person actually needs all this isn’t even considered. (Housing First has proven they don’t) It’s just assumed that they do.


About Kevin Barbieux

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

One comment

  1. I resonate with the final paragraph:

    “Putting homeless people through the paces of rehabilitation programs is done not for the sake of the homeless person, but for the sake of society.” AND “It is society that is uncomfortable with accepting a homeless person “back into the fold””.

    These statements hit the mark dead on.

    That said, I would add to the freight they carry these thoughts: There is a lot of money to be made off homelessness, and it is made BY PUTTING POEPLE THROUGH THE PACES…. I keep joining outreach efforts for the homeless and still we hardly get more than three or five off the streets in a year’s time. But we raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause every year and dare to project goals of raising MILLIONS!

    The NON PROFIT organizations especially just keep expanding staff, office space, and new fleets of vehicles. It looks to me like you are better off giving your $5 or $10 donation straight to the homeless themselves rather than the ministry supposedly serving them.

    And so to the second part of your statement that I quoted: Society does not care for people “outside the fold” in general. It is what sociologists call “in-group/out-group” dynamics. If you are an outsider, the In Group will not care for you and may in fact seek your demise. Couple that with American society’s love of money, and we see that these outsiders suddenly become a great source of income for some hifalutin ministers. (This is not a blanket statement – I recognize it is not true of all organizations all of the time – but it is true of more of the more of the time.)

    My thought: Homeless people need a HOME. Not merely 4 walls and a roof (important thought that is), but a HOME with a community there called a FAMILY of which they can learn to be a part and contribute to the betterment of. That is a complicated idea that needs a lot of analysis and care, but it is the representation of LOVE which every human being needs or will die without.

    Liked by 1 person

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