23 October, 2007
Homelessness itself has it's pitfalls falls but getting out of the cycle of homelessness once you are off the streets also has it's down falls like, no move on for sometime, not being given any kind of incentive to come off the dole simply because it's easier to let the government keep on paying the high cost of living in a hostel. Ho do you make hostels more inviting and self supporting? After all the public want a system of hostels that do not burden the tax payer more than usual. my idea would be to take people off the streets as we are doing now and have a period of what i call assessment, a getting to know the needs of the client. Then a contract between the hostel and the client could be made to improve the quality of life in the hostel and this doesn't mean job search. it means cooking and budgeting classes or learning skills like reading or writing so when their move on comes they are ready to deal with the fact that they now have to cope on their own. If you think about it homeless people lose the skills they learned to use years ago because there is only the need to survive. What I would also like to see is self supporting hostels where the guest do the work like cleaning and cooking in the hostel and some becoming members of staff themselves but to get there money has to be put into the system and it has to be used more on hostels that do work or use new initiatives. Then you have a hard core of homeless people that have spent the years on the street and these are the most difficult to work with as they recent not being able to live on the streets or they maybe anti rules. We have to find a way of balancing things so we can show them their are other ways to live. we have to get rid of the saying you can take a horse to water but you cant make it drink. Things have to be inviting after all you wouldn't want to live in a place that was run down and scary would you?