Del Williams


Why the homeless are without hope

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I have spent the last year volunteering for a homeless shelter, and in the end I walked away knowing why the homeless are so hopeless. The shelter I volunteered with is built on people who live there also providing the cleaning, office staff, security, etc. They require them to work 32 hours per week for them. The question then becomes, when do they have time to find a job for themself? To add insult to injury, they require those working in the real world to pay "rent" for the "priviledge" of coming in after 7 pm (curfew). Has no one heard of savings?
The last I knew landlords don't want your help cleaning and cooking to give you a place to sleep. They want MONEY!!!
The other thing I saw was the majority of the people were NEVER asked about themself or how they could help or anything. That luxury was reserved for 26 programmers. The programmers were required to work 32 hours, attend Bible classes, and counseling. They were not allowed to work for around 9 months, until they hit phase 3. Then it was get a job and get out. Or was it? No, they have some that have been there for over 5 years and have not even gone to the store.
The people have become hopeless because they have no GED, no marketable job skills, have prison records, and no money. Most do not even have family to support them.

So, what can be done about this? I propose case management for the 100s they serve, instead of just for 26. All parties should have to engage in less volunteering and more job hunting or education. Without a plan, these people have no hope. They are just existing and the people that are supposed to be helping them, do not really care.

How sad an indictment, but consider that the staff changes yearly, the clients increase yearly, and they still don't have a job.
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