I am handing over my baby – the Homeless Housing and Recovery Project to a new Program Coordinator.
I am so used to my perspective on homelessness that I never took the time to think about how to explain it and teach it to others. When I was the project lead I made and enforced the rules until they became habit with the staff. Now I have to teach this to someone else who has more traditional views on homelessness.
That’s all well and good, but my approach kicks the LA Prop H funding’s butt.
Here are the basics
- Every person deserves to be treated with dignity
- We do not shame or blame people, we do ask them to see and accept responsibility for themselves
- We do not perpetuate the “Victim Mentality” – meaning we do not bend rules, rescue or spoon feed solutions to folks – this cripples them and they don’t get the chance to be self sufficient
- We speak honestly and plainly – rules are rules, plans have to be made, promises must be kept. Playing games is no way to help people. If you are more concerned with being beloved than being helpful: pick a new career.
- There is a difference between being homeless and crashing for free when you have the ability to be housed.
- Help people to make plans and execute them
- Ending homelessness is a full time job. Get up every day, shower , dress and work!
- Plan your work and then work your plan.
- Become an expert in the housing and jobs markets
- Don’t assume that becoming homeless cancels out all the skills and knowledge you have.
- People are worth more than their bank account or social strata
- Family relationships can be mended if everyone agrees on the breakdown
- Sobriety is tenuous. Everyone must be tenacious in pursuit and preservation of sobriety
- Forgiveness is key.
- Educate without shaming or punishing.
- Don’t get a power trip