Now that you have learned more about the realities and complexities of houselessness, now that you know where we have come from and how we have arrived here, we can move forward and work on creating a more equitable community for all. So, how do we solve houselessness? Though its implementation is complicated, the answer to this question is simple: HOUSING and RELATIONSHIP.
It is important to acknowledge, as discussed in the History and Structural Nature of Houselessness section of these resources, people experiencing houselessness do not cause houselessness; it is not a mere matter of individual choices. It is largely the result of decades of policy that does not acknowledge housing as a human right and values profit over people. Thus, in addition to relational services and support like those that Dry Bones offers, we must engage in change on a structural level if we are to effectively address houselessness. We cannot serve someone out of houselessness if there is not enough affordable and accessible housing. As one can see in all of the educational sections in this resources hub, housing is the cornerstone of how we organize ourselves. Sadly, that means it is the primary way we divide ourselves in society. The good news? It can be the primary way that we unify ourselves.
For some people experiencing houselessness, housing may be all that they need to live a happier and more connected life. For others experiencing houselessness, support services and supportive relationships are crucial additions to affordable housing. Read on to learn more about the importance of supportive relationships as well as opportunities to advocate for systemic change.
In this TheoEd talk (19:57), Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II, talks about what it looks like for us to fight for justice on our most authentic way. As you think about how you want to engage in the journey towards housing justice, you must first ask yourself, “Who am I?”
Some of the creative models mentioned in the Innovative Solutions section of these resources are longterm solutions, while others are more short-term, harm reductionist solutions. Regardless, they are all great solutions to engage with to work towards systemic change.
In conjunction with people supporting and implementing these creative models, we need people to engage in advocacy on both a local and federal level to push for systemic change. To learn about advocacy opportunities pertaining to affordable housing, check out the advocacy pages of the organizations below:
Find out who your local and federal representatives are and contact them. Let them know that you care about making affordable housing accessible for all!
Because many people experiencing houselessness have experienced some form of trauma, and because houselessness itself is traumatic for many people, supportive relationships and other wrap-around services (such as financial assistance, mental health counseling, etc.) are important components of addressing houselessness. To learn more about the intersection of self-esteem, supportive relationships, trauma, and houselessness, check out the resources below.
If you’d like to engage in addressing houselessness on a relational level by volunteering with us here at Dry Bones, check out our volunteer page.