but what happens when a short time later we learn that the news wasn't that good or the answer didn't bring about the solution to the problem we were all looking for? what happens when the plan or the program or the solution turns out to be a recycled effort that has failed many times in the past? it's happened an awful lot in the struggle to end homelessness. these days it's easier and cheaper to launch projects and announce programs and get people to buy into them only to realize later they didn't really achieve any solutions or make any real progress on ending homelessness. they make implicit promises and announce specific solutions and answers...consequences be damned. for some of these plans and solutions it's been ten years in the making...all the while the problem keeps growing and permeating every class in America. I was wondering...when will see some progress and real answers out of these promises and programs?
in the end, what is tragic about this cycle of questions, answers and solutions are those who truly need those solutions, truly need those answers and truly need the money spent on these programs that are the program to end all programs, are abandoned and left without any real progress. multiply all the answers and solutions and you see the problem.....we spend alot of money and make little progress. much is happening with little result. how about we reverse the process and force results. how about we make the commitment to real results. how about we have some real coordinated planning between local, state and federal governments and see some real benefits to the recipients. how about we make these organizations and agencies accountable for successes and benefits to the homeless instead of seeing more data and more planning and more councils and more political arguments and more budget wrangling. sadly, we can assume based on past history that eventually most existing plans will be forgotten or abandoned and another rolled out mirroring that same plan or program but called by a new and shining name.
the lesson we need to learn from the past five decades on the fight against homelessness is simple really. we need to have a solid plan...measured by results....measured by the number of people that have been pulled out of being homeless successfully. we need to have long term, stable funding with a clear cut goal and time frame in which those goals are to be met. we need to keep our guard up. before we feel too elated or too relieved that the answer to homelessness has arrived we need to ask ourselves....is this program or method better? is this program or method new? is this program or method sustainable? can it work? will we carry it thru?
fighting homelessness isn't easy, keeping politicians and the American people involved isn't easy. recycling the same tired programs with the same tired promises hurts the effort to keep everyone involved. it does damage to the credibility of the fight and the fact that homelessness can be brought under control. it deepens the stigma and stereotypical images and thoughts about the homeless and the organizations that are involved in that fight.
we use the term ...be aware. now it's our turn to be aware. we have to find a new and effective way to fight and end poverty and homelessness. we need to find it soon.
see you around town