As a pre-amble, some depressingly obvious reading.
Writing this, (unintentionally), from THE most comfortable and well equipped hotel room I have ever occupied. Fortunately, at a significant discount thanks to the very well designed Hotel Tonight app on Android and iOS.
From what I understand (without having read anything about the subject) there are several types of homeless:
1. They are where they are due to personal choices – something that will be obvious to those who know the person well and observed them slowly sink into a lifestyle that makes the individual both unemployable and unwelcome in a family unit – no matter the good intentions of either of the latter.
2. At the other end of the spectrum, there are victims of bad luck, tragedy, war vets et al who are too proud to ask others (such as family or friends) for assistance. Sad in any modern society really!
Whilst going about life and making observations for other aspects of this here blog, in particular the post on the superb benefits of the middle class lifestyle, I have repeatedly concluded that for the best chance of a stable (and therefore stress free debt free productive life) is to live in comfort. And I don’t refer to a huge mansion and a large boat in a tax haven. No, one requires a comfortable bed in a quiet room, a consistently delivered mind and body energising diet (protein and two veg), a healthy amount of sleep, plenty of sunlight and a sofa as comfortable as your bed, where you can ‘curl up’ with a tablet, notepad, laptop, book or other method of studying and/or being productive.
If you are at the bottom end of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you are not really going be able to focus on anything else other than finding food/accommodation/warmth/companionship, after all, your body will be suffering the effects of cold/heat/malnutrition/loneliness and the extreme stress that goes with this – and that is assuming you have the education and intellect to be productive in the first place or have access to educational resources.
Of course, well meaning charities offer soup kitchens and temporary accommodation to the homeless across the world. But to extract oneself from the status quo, it is no good being surrounded by those in a similar situation, forming what are (to be honest) temporary (even if genuine and deep) friendships with the wrong type of people. One needs to be surrounded by secure stable educated (loving!) individuals of sound mind who remain friends and carers for as long as is required, with little or no state support. Further, there needs to be a bond of trust that is strong as that that exists within a stable mutually respectful family unit.
So, where am I headed?
The best way to help those who are willing to help themselves is for stable and secure families to allow the homeless to live in the family home – as if they were a member of the family, with all the comfort, diet, WiFi and other resources that the typical financially stable family take for granted. Effectively, middle class families would voluntarily adopt one or more homeless and offer them a spare room. Just like in Biblical times.
The sense of goodwill that the family would feel would help break down that divide that exists between the haves and have nots without generating the political fall out of state or community based solutions, that in my observation do not really work – even if everyone involved is well meaning and would like to think otherwise simply because they are well meaning, kind and compassionate!
Again, as some of you may appreciate, the ability to focus on pertinent tasks in a comfortable stress free environment is a priceless state that those who have never or are no longer able to experience, should not be overlooked.
I once owned a house and at the time, didn’t need the rent, despite renting a room to someone. Looking back, I wish I had been aware* of such issues because I would have tried the idea back then in the mid 1980s if I was able to find anyone needing rocket fuel to help lay the foundations for a dignified productive existence until they were able to afford to make their own way. And even if not, the individual may have become a good friend and be able to contribute in other ways, such as looking after the house, doing errands etc.
Just a thought!
*As a country lad, I never saw a homeless person until living in the USA and in a subsequent visit to Dublin before Ireland worked itself out of the troubles.
Fight back club: Turn your spare room into a catalyst for potential
I must emphasise that unlike most of the other subjects I write about within VisionAforethough, I have no experience or knowledge of the homeless, have never spoken to anyone who is, nor consulted anyone involved in the community, government or social services. If you do have any comments, as usual, please do post them below and I will of course make any corrections and/or publish your input. 🙂