Bill Becker

The Reason Homeless Don’t Get Help

Every time there’s a disaster somewhere in the world, the U.S. jumps into action to help. Whether it’s refugees in Ukraine or the heartbreaking devastation out of Turkey and Syria with last week’s earthquake, our military and private sectors join forces to help alleviate the suffering. The media will also run stories on how the average person can help by donating money and/or supplies. These are great stories and part of the fabric which made our country so beloved. In fact, our history of coming to everyone’s rescue inspired a Canadian journalist named Gordon Sinclair to cut a spoken word record in 1973 to honor our country. Part of Sinclair’s commentary included “…that when many countries faced economic crises or natural disasters, Americans were among the most generous people in the world at offering assistance...”

But it does beg the question…

                  “Why are we as a country so quick to spend hundreds of millions and even billions of                                                                 dollars on short notice to help people in other countries while ignoring our own?” 

I know why! The only reason homelessness still exists to the degree it does in 2023 is that so many people believe that the homeless are in their situation through their own fault. Ask most social workers, case managers, etc. “What the most common misconception is about people experiencing homelessness?” They will quickly answer,  “That they want to be homeless.”

It’s much easier to stigmatize people if you first dehumanize them!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t want to waste time, energy, and resources trying to change the minds of these folks. If some of them come to their senses (the thing about common sense – not that common), that’s fantastic! In the meantime, I’d rather build on the coalition of “true fans.” Part of this journey that I started in January is to speak with a blunt voice. I don’t have to worry about keeping my funding or not losing my job. I think desperate times require a different approach to get thru the noise. Today’s post encapsulates why, in 2023, the world’s greatest country still won’t take care of its own.