We saw this image posted today by one of our Facebook mentors, who runs a faith-based program & shelter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeremy Reynalds.
His comment on the image was:
Every now and again you hear someone saying, “He wants to be homeless.” What are they thinking (or not?)
Our response was around our experiences sharing an answer to a question we often get when people start talking with us about our Advocacy, sometimes when they see us wearing our conversation starter badges!
See the other image below if you don’t think they get to the point of addressing their hopelessness!
Here are our comments & Jeremy’s responses, all worth reading to get an understanding of the ways we try to get people to understand its about hopelessness!
Marvin Heery How do you respond when people say this to you? I usually get that when people see my badges & we strike up a conversation about the Advocacy!!
Except they often use the “‘they’ want to be homeless, don’t they?” comeback.
To which I often respond, they’ve become hopeless, relegating themselves to homelessness so they can deal with their fear of failure, when in reality it’s our failure to get past one size doesn’t fit all.
That’s why we’re pushing our Housing First Savannah approach!
Are you on board?
From Jeremy Reynalds
I always tell anyone who says this that no one “wants” to be homeless.
Depending on the person and the conversation I’ll talk about 1) mental illness 2) addiction, and how someone could have initially started using substances to dull the pain that is their “life.” They don’t want to remember the pain of rape, beatings, etc, etc. They end up becoming an addict.
Any “but … but …” from the listener I ask them how they can judge when in all likelihood they’ve never even been remotely close in experience to the person they’re so quickly judging.
Others I answer depending on their attitude and level of angst.
Have a great Easter,
From Marvin Heery Totally take the conversation down those paths as well as talk about experiences at our under the bridge ministry that can be there often during the pain of a relapse, sharing their own life changing experiences when they asked the Lord to take their addiction from them. The shame of a relapse often keeps them in their tents away from the ministry people who can actually then share personally the love of the Lord that got them through their last relapse! Much needed outreach these days!
Happy Easter Jeremy!
From Jeremy Reynalds Thanks Marvin. We are on the same page!
Then there’s this other image that Jeremy shared, tells it all, we cannot give up on these homeless people we encounter in our daily walks, they DO want help!
A short sentence tells a long and sullied yet poignant story. I suspect there are more than a few homeless people who share the same feelings…