Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Word to the Housed

We all know homelessness hurts homeless people. Some are beginning to realize that homelessness hurts all of us.

The full reality is, the same system that creates homelessness creates most of your problems, too. You work hard to help people who often yell at you because they can't yell at the people who are really abusing and frustrating them; you accomplish something each day but the scope of the problem keeps getting worse; then you go home and wrestle with the bills and worry over how you are going to pay for your son's dental care or your daughter's education.

We're all in this together. To get out of it, we all have to work together. The noble housed people don't have to rescue the poor homeless people; the oppressed homeless people do not have to force the privileged housed people to rescue them. All us chickens have to work together to rebuild the leaky henhouse. 'Cause guess what? There's nobody here but us chickens.

This is part 2 of my speech at the Washington State Coalition for the Homeless Conference, May 2007. The entire sequence is:
  1. The Pothole Analogy
  2. A Word to the Housed
  3. Reality Check for Committees to End Homelessness
  4. Ending Homelessness: for real