By Rebecca Townsend – Courtesy of an0nym0us via Flickr Creative Commons
We have been asked to join the Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Work One, Hope House, Genesis Outreach, HH & Go, and Blue Jacket as a panelist on Access Fort Wayne on Wednesday, August 6 at 10:00. We will be discussing Employment and Substance Abuse in Fort Wayne in the Access studio at the Allen County Public Library downtown main branch downtown Fort Wayne.
I do not know if this is a live or delayed broadcast. You can visit the Homeless Coalition at http://hcftw.org/ and the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness at http://www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/. The Homeless Coalition is also on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/HCFTWAYNE and the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness is on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/fwapch.
While you are waiting, some notes as I prepare for Wednesday’s panel:
More than half the homeless are families with children. The vast majority of these have been thrust into homelessness by a life altering event or series of events that were unexpected and unplanned for.
Homelessness is, in fact, caused by tragic life occurrences
- loss of loved ones
- job loss
- domestic violence
- divorce and family disputes
- untreated mental illness
- post traumatic stress disorder
- physical disabilities
- emergency medical bills insurance failed to pay
For those living in poverty or close to the poverty line, an “everyday” life issue that may be manageable for individuals with a higher income can be the final factor in placing them on the street. The great challenge for the newly homeless is to figure out how to return to their normal lives.
WHY people are homeless is more important than HOW. The how of becoming homeless is fairly simple, and everyone who becomes homeless runs into this same problem. They don’t have enough money to pay for shelter. When considering why people become homeless their appears to be two kinds of homeless person. There is the person whose only problem is financial. That person will soon recover. In the other group of homeless people … have lost their access to resources because they have issues beyond their control: they are suffering from some kind of mental health issue including addicts.
It must be said that a person doesn’t have to be “crazy” for their mental health issues to become a reason for their homelessness. It only has to affect their decision making. People who suffer from depression or anxiety, or both, or a number of other issues, are not crazy by any stretch of the imagination, but they are still trapped in homelessness because they don’t have the means to overcome their mental health issues.