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exp:channel:form channel="location" return="topic/what-should-we-do-about-homelessness/"
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Session: What Can We Do About Homelessness?
This is a Session within the Topic Homelessness
 
 
Reach the heart of a Political Issue
– Find what is valid or insightful about each perspective.
– Instead of demanding change, ask for understanding.
– Find a way that changes assumptions, that all sides can agree with, that works at the heart level.
 
Your progress:
0 of 4 Perspectives
 
Perspectives & Resources
Perspectives are short paragraphs summarizing any point of view about the Topic. Explore each View and then vote on it.
Would you like to add a Perspective or Resource to this Topic? Go to the Topic development page.
 
Pro
Con
 
"Do not criminalize the homeless"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What can we do about homelessness?


Do not criminalize the homeless

Consider Nakesha's comment to Ms. Rocklin, "I'm not homeless" is a declaration of resilience, resourcefulness and hopefulness. Public service systems for individuals with chronic, severe mental illness attempt to prevent loss of stable housing through psychiatric and therapy efforts. These are complemented with referrals to community-based organizations to secure social safety-net supports and follow-along.

The lack of affordable, accessible, decent housing is especially problematic in attempts to stabilize lives. Funding for communities to invest in rehabilitating existing housing stock, to build new housing , and to provide municipal housing agencies subsidies needed to keep rents low, undercut all efforts. The failure to provide high-quality, fully accessible, person-centered approaches and the individual's experience in that system that has failed them, does not mean help is not desired. Communities across the United States demonstrate understanding otherwise making it illegal to feed the homeless where they are. Bans enabling police to steal belongings and confiscate shelter demonstrates loathing of individuals instead of systems serving them. Consider what the provision of drop-in counseling services, providers prohibited from discontinuing medication scripting after missed appointments, safe and sanitary sheltering options, and long-term housing that is not always tied to overly prescriptive support programs. Keep these stories coming.
Donna Gillette, NYT comment

 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on March 04, 2018
 
This is not the view of the Opinion creator
"There should be involuntary commitment to a mental hospital for treatment"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What can we do about homelessness?


There should be involuntary commitment to a mental hospital for treatment

There should be involuntary commitment to a mental hospital for treatment, so people in trouble can make more lucid decisions about her life choices
Nakesha suffered from a mental illness, one of the symptoms of which made her too paranoid to accept help. It wasn’t her independence that kept her on that grate, it was the paranoia clouding her judgment. So what is our role as fellow humans if we, like so many, many people in the article, care and want to help? Can’t a case be made for involuntary commitment to a mental hospital for treatment to perhaps restore her judgment so that she could make more lucid decisions about her life choices? Those medications exist. Why do we have to recognize the schizophrenia but do nothing but watch her disintegrate? If it is the disease that is causing her to fear help, aren’t we, as compassionate human beings, obliged to treat the disease, even if against her will, then restore her independence once she improved? I’m heartbroken at all the love and gestures and well-meaning solicitation from so many that did not amount to enough to keep her from suffering for decades, untreated, and dying on a grate, alone.
Lynn, NYT comment, Seattle March 3, 2018

 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on March 04, 2018
 
This is not the view of the Opinion creator
"Don’t Give Money to Homeless Folks"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What can we do about homelessness?


Don’t Give Money to Homeless Folks

If I give my money to a homeless person it might very well go to drugs. That means I’m an indirect supporter of drug use and/or drug dealing and/or other illegal things. Sorry, I’m not playing.

And yes, I know not all homeless people do drugs and drink. But it’s often fairly obvious which ones do, and lots of others are iffy. I refuse to support that scene with even a dime and wish to err on the side of caution.

 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on May 30, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of igniteliving.com
"Humanize the lives of homeless people. They need loving community."
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What can we do about homelessness?


Humanize the lives of homeless people. They need loving community.

(Even if the person still fails to function well, they would have a safe, helpful environment to live in!)

What we really need is a loving mini-community
As far as I can gather from the story and the hundreds of comments made here, not a single person offered to let Nakesha live with them in their nice homes where there may have been some semblance of family and order. Instead, what was offered to her by those people who considered themselves to be her friends was some food, a few bucks, and offers to her to help get her into shelters and maybe some sort of treatment. I suspect that Nakesha had some good reasons to turn this down.
The cynical side of me sees a truth here in that help was offered to this troubled woman by her friends and others, but only if that help had no serious impact on their own lives.
Gary, Millersburg Pa, March 4, 2018 NYT comment


 

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How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary {name_l}
on March 04, 2018
 
 
 
Recommended Resources (Review before voting)
 
 

Can homelessness be solved?
John Maceri at TEDxUCLA
 
 
 

Arta Pottie Trailer
 
 
 

What Happens When Cities Make Homelessness a Crime: Hiding The Homeless
 
 
 
Link: No more homelessness in Finland
Lessons from Finland: helping homeless people starts with giving them homes
Sounds simple but Finland’s housing first model shows it’s always more cost-effective to try to end homelessness rather than manage it
 
 
Link: Housing First? A Salt Lake solution could work in Eugene
CAMILLA MORTENSEN: Eugene Weekly
 
 
Link: The cheapest way to end homelessness is ridiculously simple, according t
Drake Baer: Business Insider
 
 
Other Resources
 
Text: Utah has reduced its homelessness rate by 74 percent
Jenny Shank, Nation’s Well
X
Utah has reduced its homelessness rate by 74 percent

“Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 74 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015. The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000. Each participant works with a caseworker to become self-sufficient, but if they fail, they still get to keep their apartment.” Jenny Shank, Nation’s Well

Learn directly from a person who knows most about this successful, radical approach to homelessness.

Jenny Shank, Nation’s Well


Text: Government support is decreasing
Jim Jackson, Washington State, NYT comment, Mar 4 2018
X
Government support is decreasing

What a marvelous, yet tragic story. It highlights the necessity of adequately addressing and funding mental health services. Even though there are heart wrenching outcomes for some, countless others are helped. We can always do more. Caution, soap box starts here ...
DO NOT look to WA state for good policy.
Washington state has all but assured further suffering and decline in services to individuals with mental illness, by eliminating the mental health system and turning it over to managed care companies under the guise of better healthcare. Our supposedly liberal state and uninformed legislature and governor now let corporations decide the fate of the mentally ill in Washington.
BEWARE slogans - Better Health - Better Care - Lower Cost - The is the mantra of the powerful healthcare system in WA state. A good slogan hides the truth, and stops people from evaluating what is really happening.
Using millions in Federal CMS grant dollars, a few powerful politicians (All while wringing their hands about our homeless problem) and bureaucrats have wiped out our regional mental health systems. Systems that focused on providing effective treatment to those with serious mental illness. The winners? Managed Care Organizations and the state budget (remember "Lower Cost"). Losers? Social service agencies, community mental health organizations, local jails, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, persons with serious mental illness.


Jim Jackson, Washington State, NYT comment, Mar 4 2018


Text: The power to make involuntary commitment would be abused
Emkeyser, San Francisco, CA NYT comment, March 3, 2018
X
The power to make involuntary commitment would be abused

One would be naive to think that authorities, whether politician, social worker, or peace officer, would not abuse their power (inadvertently or otherwise) when it comes to determinations on how any law abiding individual should live. Mental illness is already institutionally criminalized in the country as it is. The last thing we need are "experts" imposing their will on those who are less fortunate than ourselves and who don't fall inside the so called normal models of human existence.

Emkeyser, San Francisco, CA NYT comment, March 3, 2018


 
 
What You Can Do
Experience life in a homeless camp for one or two hours
http://visionarysociety.org/opportunity/anchorage#openModal1d-7115
Conclusion
Ask the impossible question!
1. Is there a decent balance or compromise we can make, taking into account the real, underlying needs (what is good and true) of each side? 2. How can we address the underlying situation that created the problem to begin with (not just by addressing current, external issues)?


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