Who Asked You to End Homelessness?
So many people want to end homelessness. Here is just a short list of people and agencies desperately trying to put an end to homelessness in our towns and cities.
The Alliance to End Homelessness (Ottawa, Canada)
Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness
CT Coalition to End Homelessness
Denver Commission to End Homelessness
End Homelessness Now
Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness
New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness
The National Alliance to End Homelessness
New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness
People To End Homelessness
The Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness
The National Coalition for the Homeless says "Our mission is to end homelessness."
The Urban Institute asks "What will it take to end homelessness?"
In June of 2004 the mayor of Washington, DC, announced a plan to end homelessness in the city within ten years.
Philip Magano, White House homelessness czar, says, "We can no longer tolerate the homelessness of so many of our neighbors. Our commitment is to fulfill the promise of a home for every American... That effort will begin with an initiative directed to remedy homelessness for those who are disabled living on the streets and in encampments across our country. We cannot acknowledge their plight, and then do nothing to remedy their situation."
Who do these people think they are? How arrogant is it to look at someone, judge his life against your own, and find his deficient? I never met a homeless person who said, I want you to end my homelessness. I met homeless people who asked for spare change, for food, for employment, for drug treatment, for medical help, for shelter for a night, for a ride to the next town, and for someone to talk to. All that yes, and I have always asked for respect and dignity. No one wants to give up the right to direct his own life.
Why do people think they know best how others should live, without ever asking those they say they want to help? It is because when people talk about a homelessness problem, they are talking about the problem that the rich have passing the poor every day. When Paul Magano says we can't tolerate homelessness, he means he can't tolerate the homeless.
Be certain when you offer to help, that you are offering to help someone other than yourself. To do that, the first thing you need to do is listen.
People will tell you if they want help, and what help they want. Don't impose your life on others. You'll only harm them. When people say they are going to end homelessness, I receive that as a threat.
The more we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed the next war, for the more I see of these Indians the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers. Their attempts at civilization are simply ridiculous.
General Sherman, 1868
Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain…
L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, advocating genocide, 1890