I hope the title of this blog intrigues and invites you to join me. I’m not intending to resolve the homeless crisis on my own. I’m not that grandiose. However, with the advent of the New Year, yes I am one of those people that embraces the opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions. If you are reading, hopefully you are inspired to help with the issue of homelessness, too.
I realize that new year’s resolutions are not for everybody. But they work for me. Goal-setting helps galvanize me to review how I navigated 2020 and what I would like to do the same and differently in 2021.
I have noticed that for the last two or three months I have been increasingly preoccupied with the homeless crisis and what kind of role I would like to play in contributing to ameliorating it. And I don’t expect that we’ll resolve it together immediately. But the more we educate ourselves and the more we work together, the greater impact we can have on this large, long-term problem. We can help the homeless.
I am not new to the problem of homelessness, nor is it new to me. As a professional clinical social worker it has been in my awareness for my entire career. I have had a number of management positions where I worked in organizations that specialized in serving the homeless population.
The increasing, encroaching proximity of the homeless to my neighborhood is probably a major factor in my re-dedication to addressing the problem. I have worked on Skid Row. I worked in community mental health services who were inundated with mentally ill and substance-abusing homeless clamoring for services.
The question I have for myself now is the following: In 2021 what role do I wish to take in picking up the gauntlet to solve – at least in LA and its environs – this most vexing and endemic of community social problems?
In future blogs I will discuss many of the different parameters of the problem.
In my next blog I will discuss myths v. facts about the demographics of the homeless, including answers to questions such as, “Are homeless people dangerous? How can you tell if a homeless person is dangerous? Why are they homeless – are they all mentally ill and/or substance abusers?”
If you are interested – if you care – I encourage you to read my blog for my experience with the difficult issue of homelessness in greater Los Angeles. If you have questions, I encourage you to ask me. I will do my best to address your concerns and help us navigate this growing problem. And I thank you for your interest. Together, we can make a difference.