Monday, October 19, 2015

Solutions to Homelessness: Voluntary Social Workers

I am not offering a “silver bullet” toward “ending homelessness”.  I am instead making suggestions toward a long-term solution about homelessness.  Many of these directions cannot be completed in a year or two, but neither can solving homelessness. 

The big answer to solving the homeless problem is giving the homeless enough space to create their own solutions.  The homeless, for the most part, are good citizens, wanting to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors.  However, their hands are tied to determining solutions for themselves.  They are prevented by excessive chronic stress, harmful public policy that criminalizes normal behavior, and the inability for their leaders to sit at the table and offer their solutions.  The homeless can do much to improve their own situations, if they would be given the opportunity to. 

There is a deep need for one on one counselling and social work for almost all the homeless, which overwhelms the current crop of social workers.  The city could provide classes to be low-educated social workers, able to walk a person through the economic development plan of the city, and helping an individual find where they fit in the plan.  If the training is offered for free, volunteers could take on some of this work.

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