How we think of the ‘homeless’

One of the goals of The Wall is to change the way people think about homelessness and those who are homeless.  As with many different labels that society places on groups, being labeled as homeless often brings along unflattering  terms like laziness and lack of ambition ; however, many fail to realize how diverse the homeless community is (ranging from veterans, to families, to college students) and thus make general assumptions that a homeless person must be a failure—someone who was too lazy to be successful in society. Yet, if you have ever spent any time at a soup kitchen, or have ever spent a few moments to talk to a homeless person, you realize that their stories are often complex. Below is an interesting article that treats on this topic of the ignorance of many people regarding homelessness:

 

http://www.povertyinsights.org/2012/09/10/homeless-ism-a-new-kind-of-bigotry/

2012’s Top Steps Towards Ending Homelessness

The folks over at Poverty Insights have published an interesting article titled “2012’s Top Steps Towards Ending Homelessness”.  The list includes some obvious steps that have been going on for a number of years (such as working to redefine the term

How Social Impact Bonds Work

“homelessness”), but also features some new concepts. For instance, a recent partnership has been forged between private investors and groups working to end homelessness. Social Impact Bonds (SIB) allow investors  to fund social initiatives that ordinarily would be supported by the government and private donors. While not strictly altruistic, this type of relationship allows forward thinking, socially conscious investors to support homelessness initiatives while also earning a profit. In many ways, SIB’s follow the general trend that has been established by the era of “Social Entrepreneurship”–although their are significant differences that ought to be understood. These differences will be delineated and parsed in a future blog post.

Social Impact Bonds are a fascinating new concept that will likely grow more and more important. More information on them can be found below:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2012/08/17/first-for-massachusetts-social-innovation-financing/iW4tO4PrI0bSUo6t63eT2K/story.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/19/investors-pay-for-prisoner-rehabilitation

-Steven P. Rodriguez

Written with and for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Trenton, New Jersey area.