Why Do People Become Homeless?
Lately in my apartment building, there have been plenty of people that have lost their homes. I can count at least 7 this year that I know personally. I know that it is hard to maintain a place when you are used to being on the streets or coming from the homeless community.
Most of the people that lived in this building that I knew had previously been homeless, had mental conditions, and/or had substant abuse issues. When someone becomes homeless, most people have had a bad experience that got them there. Once homeless for two years or more these people start to develop additional issues and conditions that may be hard to fix. For example, some people have a bipolar disorder. While these people with bipolar can be treated, they are homeless and it makes it hard to work on the condition with medical assistance on a consistent due to no permanent residence. After awhile, they start to self-medicate (abuse substances) to ease the condition.
Now the homeless have a chance for a place “Alone” and are expected with case management to function normally. I agree that this sounds great to an outsider looking in. Case management can help the few people that don’t need tons of supervision and help to do normal tasks but resources for additional assistance. For example, these almost normal people just need to utilize additional assistance (food banks, utility assistance, and rental assistance) to stay afloat. Unfortunately, most of the people that come from the homeless community also need routine mental help, schedule weekly contact on what a normal person does.
At the end of the day, most of these previously homeless clients are creating habits that are bound to cause a loss of their residence. I think case management should monitor them for at least six months and then recommend accordingly. Most of the case management have such a large workload that they don’t have time for such individual attention. There are groups available for people who really want to progress but by the time they realize it is necessary, they are in the process of losing their place.
I have often thought there should be a group or program to teach residents coming from a homeless community how or what to expect to be normal again. For example, having a monthly budget and how to slowly interact with a community, and finding a project to take up some wasted time to prevent substance abuse. I think they all, of course, take a computer class.
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