We created Homelessness, Addiction and the Mentally Ill Violence, we can Stop It
There is an article titled “How the Cycle of Chronic Homelessness Begins—and Ends” written by Christina Davidson that clearly spells out how such a man-made problem like homelessness could be solved. The article clearly gives us a road map to fix not only this problem but addiction and violent mentally ill citizens left to disappear on our streets. It is short, sweet and simple but maybe that adds to the problem of why it is not something in our past and so much still a part of our present. Many talk about it but do we really want to fix it. Many make millions saying that they are helping to end it but those same words have been echoing the=rough this country for decades now. When are we going to put up or shut up, when are going to put our money where our mouth is?
The article chronicles a gentleman named Charles and his 18 years on the streets of Washington D.C. It reports that “This story is part of a CityLab series on the state of homelessness in American cities. For the nearly two decades that Charles lived on the streets of Washington, D.C., the nation’s elite hustled past him with their eyes mostly averted. They saw only a homeless crack addict, not a man carrying a weight that finally dragged him all the way down. Today, inside his own clean, white-walled apartment in Southeast D.C.'s Woodland neighborhood, Charles, 51, pulls up a sleeve of his white polo shirt to show me his scars. The looped extension cord he recalls his mother using to strike him as a child has left a distinctively curled mark. There are slashes, too, which may have come from the belt his father preferred, sometimes wielded by a brother left in charge of “discipline” when their parents were out. Still, for 27 years, Charles managed to hold himself together. He had a home, a wife he loved dearly, and two precious daughters. With certification as a special police officer and experience in security, he landed a coveted spot with Georgetown University campus police. A psychiatrist could have recognized the clinical signs of depression, but Charles had scant awareness of mental health”.
We can fix the America but is it because we don’t care or the big money is not fixing it. Is it because we fear helping each other off the floor or is it because without a lower class of people we will have no one to blame our failures on? Which is it or is it a little bit of both? Either way, it’s a man-made problem and it can be solved by man, this we know for sure. The true question is do man wish to solve it or just ignore it like the elite in Washington D.C. did to Charles for 18 years?
We can fix this America; there are far too many abandoned manufacturing plants and homes in all of our cities to not be able to convert them into temporary housing for those without housing. This is the first step in dignity which is the key ingredient in retention of or reacquiring of one’s mental health. Why should anyone care about them if they do not care about themselves can be easily answered by simply understanding that the reason they do not care about themselves is because no one else seems to care about them. Temporary housing to last as long as it takes to help restore their mental health and deal with any addiction. Why is that so hard to understand, we do this very thing right now and no one seems to complain except we call that temporary housing a jail or prison.