Reader: It doesn't matter how they became houseless 


Once again there are people researching and writing about the houseless in order to maybe "solve" the "dilemma" (Homelessness on the rise, News, May 16). There are those who want to help, and there are those who do not. However, it seems like the "housed" are having the problems.

The real issue is having to negotiate with "these people" and running the gauntlets of "anything helps," which has been around for millennia; all the GET A JOBs, I WORK FOR A LIVINGs and THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAWs haven't helped.

Of course, there are mental health issues and drug issues that have exploded over the years, but one doesn't need to be a houseless person to suffer from those calamities, and the issue is not so easily limited. There are few facilities for houseless people with disabilities, yet, we continue to judge and blame the individual.

Regardless of how people became houseless, focusing backward on "how did you get here?" does nothing except fan the flames of judgment, one way or another. That is, unless the reason the person is houseless is the same now as it was back then; however, that is a different question.

Further, a job will not solve the problem in the short run and will likely not in the long run either. There are very few college grads out on the street; I believe I was the only one for three years. So think about how much a minimum-wage earner takes home and what has to be spent to have a "place."

Housing-first may be one piece of the puzzle, but there will still be people without "whatever" asking those who "have" to help the "have nots." Until the paradigm of the housed is altered there will continue to more houseless.

— m t hazard, Colorado Springs

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