however terrible and horrific it may be that women and young children die on our street every night we need to stop turning the homeless children, the women without a roof over their head, the men that die on our streets and the veterans who have lingered without a home into a political platform with unreachable promises of ending this cancer in our country. politicians and advocates alike should stop using the horrible images and circumstances of the homeless to promote their own agendas while promising relief and safety for the homeless, which never seems to come.
the awful reality of the homeless is that, for the time being, we can only hope to contain it and ensure that it doesn't continue to increase year after year. we can only hope that we bring it to a manageable level and not hand our next generation a problem with no solution and a situation that has grown past the point of no return. homelessness is deadly. it kills 13 of our children every night. homelessness is a disease. men and women's lives are cut far too short by sickness and disease that can be directly attributed to being homeless for an extended period of time. homelessness spreads like a virus in our current societyand it makes its presence known in every major city and state in this counrty. it is rarely noticed, by choice, in our communities until it takes another victim. often innocent ones. it is ignored by our politicians until the disease called homelessness permeates too close to the other 99% of the population. the challenge for our next group of politicians and yes advocates also, is to find a cure for this disease. the goal of these politician and advocates should be to eradicate homelessness and no longer accept it as something that will remain with us. this can only be done with the right amount of effort, cooperation and compromise between all parties involved and a true understanding of what homelessness is and what it isn't. the end to homelessness can only come when we face it head on and begin some realistic approaches to end it and not fall back on rhetoric and headline grabbing articles, photographs and sensationalizing situations in our cities. this may keep homelessness in the headlines but it does nothing in the long run to improve the situation for the homeless or bring about a significant reduction in the homeless population nationwide. the end will come when our local and state politicians work together, honestly and realistically, with no political agenda to end the plight of our homeless men, women and children.
that means that advocates and homeless agency leaders must stop with the loud, desk pounding speeches, news briefs and headlines and begin to use negotiation and finesse. i know this will be difficult for many advocates. the idea of the concept of "we" instead of "me" is something many are not accustomed to and the idea of quietly and systematically reducing homelessness without anyone taking credit for it is such a new concept among homeless advocates that it will be a big adjustment. it's not about speaking and making promises to make the news feeds, knowing the speeches and interviews ring hollow and knowing the promises cannot be kept. it's about making realistic goals and filling our homeless agencies and advocacy networks with people who have the expertise, the imagination, the intelligence and patience to meet those goals. we have to step back and rethink and reemploy our ideas and our manpower and most importantly our resources in the effort to bring homelessness to functional zero.
this day is not close. ending homelessness has yet to become a sight on the horizon. we have made little progress in the decades we have been openly fighting this battle. it continues to claim victim after victim. i do believe the time will come when we will win the fight against homelessness. but in the meantime, we need to begin and then continue to take an honest, realistic stand against it. our homeless population deserves honesty as do the american people that i do believe want to support this cause but have seen too many promises go unkept and too little progress made despite the trillions of dollars spent.
our homeless citizens, our homeless advocacy network, those working to solve homelessness on the front lines and the american people in general deserve leadership, honest leadership, in our fight against homelessness. the end result we all want is to end homelessness so those experiencing it can once again live in safety , peace and with a roof over their head. the end result we should all want is that noone dies on our streets without a home ever again.
see you around town