Another homeless death occurred last month as the news reported that a thirty-nine year old man may have died of a drug overdose while trying to live in his tent behind the Amtrak Station. A day later, a common narrative played itself out on my Facebook page when a woman sympathizing with a couple expressed guilt and remorse after she was forced to put them back out into the freezing zero weather upon discovering that among other things they were using her diabetic needles to support a drug habit.
One has to wonder whether it is the ravaging effects of drugs that still causes problems in the twenty first century or a slow, bureaucratic under- developed system charged to handle the problem? After all, It is not uncommon for people with drug addictions to be filtered out of the systems designed to help them..This oxymoronic approach seems defeating since numbers show that drug addictions account for over twenty percent of the homeless population.
This and other problems show up as some of the fundamental flaws that have allowed homelessness to remain a festering blister on society. From drugs to a person's economic challenges, It becomes obvious that the current systems' approaches are outdated --- even defunct. It is time for a complete overhaul in the fight against homelessness. The very term conjures up images that strike negative emotions in most people. From drug addictions to economic problems and everything in between, the current agencies and policies are grossly inept, and certainly no match for the complexities associated with this behemoth we call homelessness.