Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homelessness & Occupy Camps

Blessings Darlings!

It's just a few hours since I did that last blog post.  But I've been challenged about what I'd do about homeless folks at OccupyDC that aren't participating in the Occupy movement OTHER than having the police evict the homeless (who had been using the park/plaza first).  For the record, I worked for ages with homeless people in various parts of Illinois.

Since I'm in West Virginia without a car, I've only been to OccupyDC once.  I don't know all the committees - is there one aimed at Resident involvement? If so, that committee could look at things like ....

Dudes, you have rules.  Add a bit to them. It doesn't take many changes. Enforced rules work in shelters that aren't just 'sheets and eats' shelters.  If things like this aren't covered then maybe add things like minimum work or volunteering requirements for residents, and/or required AA/NA/whatever meeting attendance for recovering addicts and/or everyone up and attending sleeper meeting in morning for those without jobs, and/or everyone attends GA, all residents have to be on at least one committee, etc, etc, etc.  I'm sure that there are more things that could be considered. 

Would the rules need to be enforced?  Sure.  Would that take people to do?  Yes.  How would they be enforced?  I'd suggest ... nagging.  Or a 'buddy' assigned to .... as others have termed them .... 'unfriendlies' to walk 'em to GAs, their chosen committees, etc. 

Given how many folks who do not choose to participate in the program at shelters with strong case management and instead choose to, simply leave, changing from sheets-and-eats format to managed format seems likely to .... cause walk outs of those not participating in OccupyDC. 

Is it guaranteed?  No.  Is it fast?  No.  Is it easy? No.  It is building a new world and that, as you already know, is slow and hard work. 

But my fear is that the other 'solution' offered is to turn in those non-participating to the police for eviction for 'not being part of the vigil' is just, again, throwing the homeless under the bus. 

Frondly, Fern

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