Why Do We Ignore the Homeless?
The thing that no one wants to admit they do.
The poet Shane Koyczan once said "tragedy is a switch, we're never more than one flick away from it, that can happen to any one at anytime." Knowing that homelessness is one bad mistake, or an untimely misfortune away from being our realities. I've spoken to many people that are currently homeless, and I have also had the burden of homelessness on my shoulders at times. One thing that I have learned from these experiences is that when you are homeless you are looked at like you did something wrong. Like you are a drug addict, like you are a criminal. But what I want to know is why.
I believe that one of the reasons people marginalize the homeless is because we as humans feel morally obligated to take care of other people. The fact that homeless people are not in a good place makes us feel guilty in some sort of way.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a Psychological theory proposed by Abraham Maslow in the 1940s. It described the needs of a person in order to grow mentally and emotionally. At the very bottom of the pyramid is the basic most primal instincts that someone has like the need for food or water. The next level is safety, which would be having shelter and financial security. This is where the homeless struggle, and because of that they cannot typically have romantic relationships, or any sense of belonging. This in turn ruins their self esteem, and holds them back from their goals.
No one has ever chosen homelessness.
What I want to leave you with is that no one has ever chosen homelessness. This wasn't what they wanted with their lives. I've heard constant stories through the Invisable People Project where they were asked what they would wish for if they had three wishes. So many times I have heard them ask to not feel so alone, so ignored, so hated. This breaks my heart. In order to try to help, I am leaving the links to the Invisable People Project, and Habitat for humanity below. I will also leave the link to Shane Koyczan's Poem "Places" below.
If you can, give to the people less fortunate than you.
Listen to the stories of the forgotten.
Listen to this insightful poem.