Resolving Poverty

Sources 93-98:

The unexpected face of homelessness (December 2013)

I truly believe that the language we use, the attitudes we have, and the judgments we make have the potential to change the world that we live in, and to ultimately end youth homelessness.

Take any issue for example. If you develop a deeper understanding of that issue, you then have the opportunity to choose how you wish to respond to it. 

So if all we see is a stereotypical image of a homeless person - or if all we see is that 6% of the pie, then how many young people will reach out for help when it's far too late, when it's so much harder for them to get back on their feet. 
MEANING, before we can attempt to even assist them with a bed, we need to accept that they are carrying the weight of a label and shame that's associated with being a homeless person. 
I really believe that by choosing to say 'someone is experiencing homelessness", rather than labeling them a homeless person, has the power to make a difference. 

Because homelessness, that journey may be a chapter in someone's life, but it doesn't have to be the whole story.

I used to think that the response to homelessness just needed to be food, clothing, and shelter. But I realized i'm more than those three things. A big part of me is community. The people around me. My goals and my dreams.

If we can just look at the language, attitudes and judgments we make, it really does have the power to make a difference.
A simple and easy way to help the homeless -- clean fresh socks (December 2017)

Simply handing out socks or saying hello to someone who wouldn't say hello to can lead us to human connection, to story.

Steven Pinker, the author of the book "THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE" (why violence has declined), suggests that the humanitarian revolution had it's advent through story. It re-framed the human imagination toward empathy. And empathy can sometimes lead to embodied empathy which is Compassion. Empathy leads to compassion.
It's hard to not have that kind of desire to help. Which can have a powerful impact.

The ancient Greeks called compassion "splagchnizomai", and that word literally means "being moved from your insides to help alleviate the suffering of someone who is in need".

When we have safe places to tell our stories to; the pain, the violence, the hurt, the hopes, the desires, the failures, the successes; that can re-frame our sense of self-worth.
When we begin to see the vivid sense of goodness - that they too have a great sense of worth and vividness and sacredness.
Through the compassionate support of others, substance abusers begin to get clean.

(Next column)

The beautiful thing about compassion is that they found community and a sense of self-worth.  They discovered that BEING ON THE MARGINS OF SOCIETY WAS NOT THE END OF THEIR STORY, IT WAS JUST A PART OF THE STORY. And that something better was about to emerge for them.
-- street kids
-- gutter punks
-- meth heads
-- prostitutes
-- former gang-bangers
-- non-religious and religious alike

We found that we need to have a safe place for our friends who are marginalized, to begin telling who they are, without being judged. Without being shackled in shame.

Compassion connects unlikely people to one another. It comes at unexpected times through unexpected people.

It's very hard to imagine the compassionate side of ourselves, but if we have the courage to give out a fresh pair of socks or a hello - it might lead to a story, a friendship which might lead to the deeper and grander possibilities of human connection.
Acknowledging Another Human Being | Milton Brown (March 2016)

Heroin -- you're at the closest point of death you'll ever be, besides dying. That's all I lived for - was to get high. issues of abandonment, rejection, feeling less than - I never knew my father. I thought nobody loved me and my brother - who wanted us? So i never got any help for that. Those things were deterring me - they were dictating who I was. 

I ended up and NY Avenue shelter - one of the worst shelters in the DC metro-area.

I learned how to pray and trust God and put my belief and faith n him to bring me through this demonic state that i was living. 
Yes, I made some bad choices - i take the responsibility. but there are some people that didn't make those choices - circumstances took them there to a place that made them lose their minds.

Being in a shelter for a year or two years in a half - mental illness begins to development. Many come that are already mentally ill. That was one of my worst fears - of losing my mind in that shelter. If you do, you'll be stuck forever in that shelter, unless you get some mental help.

God uses people to Help you. 

My point is: acknowledging another human being. I know the feeling of not being acknowledged not as a human being -- people would look at you with so much hatred. I'm just like you - i just made a mistake. 

Next time you see a homeless person, please acknowledge them. 
It can help them so much. 
I've seen a doctor and a lawyer living in these shelters. 
It can happen to someone you love.

(Next column)

As far as you have one parent or both - respect them, enjoy them.

Do that for your parents - buy them a card consistently. 
Stop taking your parents for granted.
For it's their sacrifices that you have this nice school here and the opportunities you have.

Show love to another homeless human being the way you show love to animals. Show a little love. Just a little small thing of saying hello. "Can i buy you a cup of coffee or tea."

As a human being I didn't want your money - I just wanted you to look at me like a human being; instead you looked at me with shame, disgust, hatred. It's wrong. If you don't talk to me how can you know who I am and what I am, if you don't talk to me. What you do, is you show them love, and they have to respond.
Unsheltered...New Possibilities | Reba Stevens | TEDxCrenshaw (January 2017)

HOMELESSNESS creates emotions of shame, fear, despair, helplessness, hopelessness.

Arrested for stealing or being homeless. Each time i was out of jail i had no home to return to so i would end up right there. I became depressed, suicidal. I felt hopeless. I didn't want to feel, i didn't want to live. 
She's remained sober since. 
These experiences inspire her to eradicate homelessness.
Great questions to always ask the homeless:
-- What brought you here. 
-- What are your needs.
-- What are your desires

The county of LA ranks in the top 3 in the world for homelessness. 
36% are women. 
It is a crises that is extremely grave in South Los Angeles.

Housing first model. (housing doesn't stabilize, we also need support).
We all came in on different boats but we all end up on the same shore (that of being homeless).
What I and many others need are providers and agencies to exercise compassion, listening, empathy. 
We all come here on different boats - our needs truly are all different!
Housing First - a way towards ending homelessness | Juha Kaakinen | TEDxBratislava (September 2014)

People without homes. Homes without people..
We have 11 million EMPTY homes in Europe. 
We have 4.5 million homeless people in Europe.
To end homelessness, you need also to build new homes (despite the statistics shown here). But that is economically reasonable. 

BY INVESTING $1M FOR CONSTRUCTION - you can get homes for about 10 homeless people, and you can give work for about 15 homeless people per year. My goal is to buy and build 6,000 more flats for homeless people. 

^^^THE KEY WOULD BE TO MIGRATE HOMELESS PEOPLE TO PLACES WHERE IT IS CHEAP TO LIVE, AND WHERE WORK IS AVAILABLE ---- thereby my funding for ending homelessness is being utilized to the utmost of ability! i.e. THEY LIVE IN AREAS WITH LOW COSTS OF LIVING  ~AND~  WITH a boosting economy (low unemployment rates) with JOB OPPORTUNITY for folks of manual labor, or whatever skill-set the homeless person has and is able to work in. (we need a careers counselor to help them with this part of seeing what they can do as a means of living). -LUOLA

To change the world you have to change the way people think.
Originally the way to end homelessness has been the STAIRCASE Model -- you stop drinking, you become housing ready (from shelter to group home / supportive housing) and then a rental apartment of your own.

Some homeless people can make it but not all (some drop back to homelessness). That is called the REVOLVING DOOR syndrome. This was the dominant model in the 1980s and it was state of the art at that time. 
But then there was another way of thinking as well -- to get proper homes by buying flats from the free-market #FINLAND; municipalities make the contract with the homeless people. 

HOUSING FIRST, established in NY in the 1990s.
1. listen to him
2. provide him a suitable apartment
3. offer him the support he needs to get on with his life
This model has gained widespread recognition in the USA and European countries and has proven to be very effective in ending homelessness.

Housing doesn't solve everything. when a homeless person receives the keys to his apartment, he begins asking where are the keys to my life, where are the keys to my future. so the hunger for meaningfulness (meaningful work) grows.
You have to start from their strengths and capabilities. Not from their failings. "Nobody has yet failed in the future".. there are NO hopeless cases.

It's amazing how big the changes you can make with so few tools. In fact all you need is your head and your heart. Where everyone's human dignity will be respected. "A fair world without homelessness, with head and heart, together".

No One Expects To Be Homeless (March 2013)

Solving homelessness comes down to three aspects: 

1) is PREVENTION from anybody ever becoming homeless in the first place. 

2) is EMERGENCY RESPONSE by providing a safe haven (like The Haven) to accommodate and house homeless people from dying/starving on the streets. 

3) is RECONCILING homelessness back into non-homelessness by making people self-efficient once again (affordable housing. income. #knowledge #skills).

Prevention – Stopping people from becoming homeless in the first place. 
Emergency Response – Providing emergency supports like shelter, food and day programs, while someone is homeless. 
Housing, Accommodation, and Supports – The provision of housing and ongoing supports as a means of moving people out of homelessness.

Everyone has realized that it is impossible to solve our present problem unless the individual moves from a theoretical standpoint and ceases simply talking about how things should be done, to the dynamic experience of personal growth. 

He can start where he is, he doesn’t have to worry.

The problem may be a need for a job, a domestic difficulty, a wayward child, whatever it is, if at this time he has not found a footing in a pattern for his own personal growth, that problem which he faces today must become that footing or one of its equivalents.

It must be something done by the individual himself to prove a sincere dedication to advancing the cause of the common good. Once he makes one statement, the seed is planted, and will never die. One good deed leads to another. One bit of wisdom leads to greater wisdom.