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  There has always been the homeless and there always will be. However, there is a large population that is actively working to improve their extremely difficult lives.

  Question; What innovative ideas do you have that might help them succeed?

p.s. Please, do not say "get a job". Many homeless are working low end positions but not earning enough to support themselves.

Thank you in advance for your input.

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Education.

Not just career oriented education, but education on subjects that affect the poor directly: Job skills, interviewing skills, taking advantage of temporary Government safety nets, Communication skills, population control, personal economic skills, health and safety, assertiveness, mental health and self confidence...the list is endless.

Thanks for the comment Eddie, I agree that education is probably the most import aspect of the whole problem. In fact, I have worked in several programs that  provide that very thing. TACID in Tacoma Washington offers several excellent programs. 

A little empathy for the homeless would go a long way.

I have much empathy for the poor and downtrodden, I think one of the best helps for the homeless would be some psychological help, not because I think all homeless have mental problems although a lot of them are in that sad state of affairs. I know if I were close to being homeless I would have friends or family who would take me in for a time until I got myself back on my feet. If the people on the streets don't have friends and family who would help, it begs the question why aren't they helping. That's why my suggestion is psychological help, is it attitude or fear of asking for help or a habit like drug use? Those questions need to be addressed at least among others. Finding out why the person is out there and what could change to make a difference.

Thank you for your reply Lifesighs, and I agree with a lot of what you said, but the thing is that there are a lot of people trying to discover exactly why these people are homeless. Yes, there is a lot, perhaps a majority of, mental illness involved, and addictions are a huge reason, but what can be done about it in reality? I volunteered for 6 years at a local food bank and I know and awful lot of the homeless. I know one man who has repeatedly been offered a free apartment but he has said over and over, "No, I'm fine under the 11th street bridge." 

It's a terrible situation and I don't know what to do about it that isn't already being done. Obviously, the existing programs are not as effective as they could be. Don't you think?

Talk to me.

Lifesighs, many of the homeless have exhausted the resources of their families and friends. At a certain point, it is no long reasonable to assume that a man or woman will ever change without some sort of superhuman event and even then, the change most probably will be temporary. According to many statistics and my own research the majority of addicts will return to their previous lifestyle within the first 18 months of sobriety. Only 2 or 3% ever make it past the 5 year mark. But I agree with you in that many need psychological/mental health assistance and perhaps that might be a part of the requirement for housing. 

Perri, if you locate that article, I would like to read it. In fact, I would like to contact the management/owner of the hotel to discuss his/her success.

thank you Perri, I did read that article and will try to contact them for  their

list of "strict" rules, and what has worked for them and what has not. I think it would

be very interesting to set up a continuing dialog among several organizations with similar

goals, don't you?

I've been thinking that perhaps some of these people have a form of autism that makes them feel they don't fit with society I hate putting labels on people but I have known two people closely who had different forms of this in mild states and it was difficult to communicate with them from time to time. Both are very bright intelligent people, one had to leave his very well paid job as he kept getting worse and very "out there". The other could do amazing things and was totally focused on making things work.

Those who want to be on the streets instead of in a home could benefit with a place to use the bathroom and shower a storage for their items and a cot for when they wanted to use it. I don't think a place like that would be hard for communities to supply.

Many Americans are one paycheck from homelessnes. The workingclass poor. I think maybe the hardest and most inportant step begins in uor own heads. To stop seeing homeless poeple as "other"." Us" (respectable-or at leest solvent) v.s. "Them" frightening, dysfunctoinal,invisable..a scary reminder of what cuold hapen to us.

Hey dodger, I am one of those Americans you speak of. I live paycheck to paycheck.

I live very close to the bone as wel micheal. I was just trying to not interject myself into the larger thuoght.

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