Some of the recent issues surrounding the homeless have brought up a broader question of whether Boulder is a city that is friendly to the nearly 1,000 people every night who have no place to go. Opinions on the matter range from those who feel Boulder does more than its fair share to those who feel the city doesn’t do nearly enough.
Is there such a thing as “heaven for the homeless”? Let’s see, that doesn’t mean a God type heaven though, that’s heaven on earth I would presume! Thoughts?
We’ve got our own local perspective that we make it too good for the homeless here in Savannah & we “attract” the homeless from other areas of Georgia or the South!
Those who fund (the local City or County governments come to mind here) or providers of services who are partners or members of the local CoC (Homeless Authority) believe that to be true as well!
I would suggest that we look at this from a few other perspectives!
First we must ask do people really want to be homeless & want to live off the system?
Are other communities just not providing anything for them?
Do they really want to get out of homelessness & have heard we have great services here, or even jobs or housing here that they can’t get access to where they are from?
Or if none of that is true then we as a community must consider whether we must or should step up to the plate as an entire community & become the best provider of homelessness exit strategy services in the world!
This commitment would be something to be proud of & be a marketing statement for Savannah that would make us the envy of the world homeless service provider community!
While it may seem we are saying that tongue in cheek we are sincere that it would be something to actually be proud of & be a model for other communities to emulate!
We may even get a few conventions out of it & increase our tourism traffic! We are serious about that by the way!
We also have an opportunity to have the visitors we get now to see (with the proper “marketing”) that Savannah is a compassionate city & we respect diversity as well as have a commitment to end (chronic) homelessness in reasonable ways, a model to emulate in their own communities when they get home.
Our various street ministries have also been recognized by visitors who see us in action at various points around the city as a very effective way to minister to the homeless, serve their needs & in fact provide some unique services that may also be of value in their communities!
So let’s get the discussion going here! In fact there may be an opportunity for us to come together in some type of forum to discuss the issues around homelessness together & start down the path of finding solutions together as a community. These should be solutions we can all get behind & provide action on together.
We have said several times that the “job” of ending homelessness is not just that of the service providers, government entities or the non-profits that approach homelessness. It is the job of all of us, including a personal commitment based on our faith or concern for fellow human beings.
We will also be engaging the faith community in efforts to get us in a dialog around the concept of “Disrupting Homelessness: An Alternative Christian Approach”, a book we have located that provides insights & dialog opportunities for dialog around changing the stereotype of the faith community & how we deal with homelessness from one of making it “comfortable” to be homeless to one of enabling new solutions that the faith community can support!
- A discussion on the Faith Community doing more to end homelessness & support the poor: Faith Leaders Blast House GOP Budget As ‘Immoral Disaster’ That ‘Robs The Poor’ | ThinkProgress (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Homeless Entrepreneurs find a way to move out of their homelessness, start business in a shelter!: Rosenblum: A new business grows in an unlikely place | StarTribune.com (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Announcement: A series on homeless living in a shelter, please follow: Faces of Homelessness: A Night at the Shelter – Burke, VA Patch (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Have you played the game of being homeless yet? ABCNews did this story: The Conversation: Homeless Simulation Game Forces Players to Confront Tough Choices – ABC News (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Homelessness Revealed – our collection of thought provoking images launched on Pinterest (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- How to allocate inventory in a Housing First Model, some thoughts: Who’s more vulnerable? Index guides housing plan (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Is this the map for homeless services in Savannah? Who knows the answer & how do we get the best map we can? (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- When is Savannah’s “major victory” like this coming?: In Santa Clara County, a new funding model for counties ending homelessness | 100,000 Homes (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Why Everybody is Obsessed with Housing First: A Primer (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)