28 April, 2006

Preventions better than the cure.

Over the last few years I have heard people like John Bird the founder of the big issue say things on homelessness and it's prevention. Mr Bird thinks we should plough more money into prevention rather than spend it on the people that need help right now when I told him that only more homeless people would suffer. His reply was yes some will but the end result would be that we could prevent more youngsters from ending up in the vicious circle of homelessness. So the end would justify the means. A cure to anything is hard to find and sometimes I wonder if the problem of homelessness has risen to the point that something drastic has to be done. Have we let the problem grow to large that the government have to spend more and more each year and will the government ever finally admit that they have got their figures on homelessness wrong. I have to admit that at the beginning of the Labours term in power they did try to reduce the problem of rough sleepers but now I believe the problem is roughly the same as it was and now with outreach workers from various agencies at it's lowest people that need the right kind of help are not being targeted and in some areas there simply are no longer outreach workers. the questions that should be put before any government committee are how do you prevent an abused child from running away from home? How do you prevent a drug addict from becoming homeless because as I have always said the worst thing about being an addict is drugs come before rent. How do you make a tolerant society take responsibility for it's members. Yes prevention is better than the cure. The question then becomes what is the cure and will it work for everyone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the US of A, funding is being cut for Social Services, so Outreach workers are losing jobs. It wasn't until I became homeless, and really talked to my new peers (I'd often spoken to homeless people before), I didn't know exactly how many had become homeless as children. Some abandoned as young as 9, some running away from sexual and/or physical abuse (most often turn to drugs/alcohol to forget, then prostitution to pay for habit, males as well as females), and some because of the parents drug/alcohol problems.

So how do we prevent child abuse? Or Alcoholism? There is a real need over here for separate, safe places for clean, sober women and children to go. The LA times had a story about a 71 year old woman living in her car for 8 years, after her son committed suicide.

Also society can not prevent hurricanes, tsumami waves and such. Don't think it is possible to prevent it, except providing affordable housing & liveable wages is a good preventive measure.