F.A.Q. 3

9 07 2009

By: John Gill

Will renters attract drug users and alcoholics into my neighborhood?

No, since renters would be regularly assessed by support workers and one of the conditions for them to be qualified for housing is that they follow the guidelines set out in the beginning. However, having said that we want to reintegrate these individuals back to society and not place confinements on them. These individuals are already very skeptical of help and we want to assure them we are here to help without any conditions.

Although some rules are necessary, we want to make the renters feel they have the same rights and freedom as anyone else in society. A key aspect is not to place any unnecessary conditions on these renters that otherwise would not be placed for other renters.

We are concerned about our safety and neighbors safety?

As for the safety concerns, these individuals are hard-working and have been deemed homeless due to some unfortunate circumstance in life. As every homeless person has a story and if we take the time to listen we would be shocked to hear how a series of events that could happen to anyone of us, has lead to their current situation. These individuals are law-abiding citizens and contribute to society as all of us do.

Will they last at their jobs, how do you know?

A key thing to remember is that homeless individuals go through the same trials and tribulations as we do. Homeless people DO NOT get Preferential Treatments, but in fact are marginalized because no one will speak on their behalf. This model by no means is a quick fix or a one hat fits all approach. For example, even if there are jobs available and the homeless are placed there. It often takes a few jobs to find the right fit, as it would with anyone looking for a job. Often this is the period where the homeless get frustrated and give up. Support services are vital, as the homeless get dejected and rescind back to their old ways. Support service could be a peer, mentor or a neighbour that gives hope to individuals, by reassuring them to keep trying, it does not take much.  The benefit of our model is that it will be working with employment agencies to help these individuals to help them find a suitable job.

Employers and Employees have a common goal, to find a suitable match.  We cannot assume that finding any job available would be ideal for the homeless. We have to make certain these workers are respected and treated fairly at the workplace as well. This is again where our support services will get progress reports from the employee and the employer to track progress.




5 responses

13 07 2009

I really like your idea of respecting and treating homeless people with dignity. And in fact, I do share your thoughts on homelessness in that they do not choose to end up being in those desperate situations but rather they must have been driven by some unfortunate series of hardships.
I also think that when we become more considerate towards the homelessness, they could feel how some people genuinely care about their well-beings and truly wanted to help them to get back on their feet and thus would be more willing to accept help from the society rather than being skeptical about societal supports .
In terms of listening to their life stories on their sides, what kind of methods can we employ to make the public more understanding or compassionate towards the harsh life circumstances of the homelessness?

15 07 2009

Thank you for your insights Christine!

With the emergence of Social Media, I think by using Youtube, or Facebook to create awareness and spread their harsh realities is certainly one possibility.

Having this blog is another, the difficult part is how to tie action to awareness. I’m sure we do not run into homeless individuals everyday of our lives. But how could we close that gap between people being aware and then urging them to act on it to help others is a obstacle to overcome.

Thank your for your feedback.

13 07 2009

The way I was able to get a better understanding of what homeless people have to deal with was by taking a look at http://www.homlessnation.org. This is a website that homeless people can log onto and share their stories and some of the are horrific.

If we can encourage people to visit this site then many views of homeless people would change. If you want to make a difference, encourage your friends to visit the site.

13 07 2009
Amanda Malenstyn

Wow, what an eye-opening way to explore this issue. This is all so interesting! Great work.

15 07 2009
John Gill

Thank you Amanda for your encouragement!

I think we have to approach this issue from all angles, from the viewpoints of all stakeholders involved. From there we could create awareness and clear up any misconceptions about homeless indviduals. Yes, some are there due to their addictions, but there is also a segement that works and simply cannot afford the high rental rates.

Thank you for your feedback.

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