It's cold here in the frozen tundra, too cold to live on the streets, so homelessness disappears into the shadows for six months out of the year.
I don't have a good little story to post with a homeless theme to demonstrate my sensitivity. If anything, I am insensitive to the subject, but aren't we all, really. As a good liberal, my knee jerk reaction is to demand that we take some money from the one percenters and give it to the zero percenters. I'm very generous with other people's money. I jump up higher on the soap box over the issue of homeless veterans. It seems that if we have trillions to spend on wars without end, we could carve out a few billion to better serve those who served us. Hell it's only a couple of B-2 bombers were talking about. Neither argument is working and neither are our safety nets. Maybe that's why we become insensitive, it's too frightening to think about...there but for the grace of God...
I've been following and contributing over at The Good Man Project for the last few months. One of the themes there is "the disposability of men". Who is more disposable than the homeless? The face of homelessness is a single male, they make up around 75% of the long term homeless. Why more men? Complications abound as you search for answers. Some say it's because women end up with the children and there are more programs supporting women and children than there are for single, childless men. A second explanation is that men are less likely to ask for help. Blame the victim. That'll work. But when you factor in the mental illness and substance abuse, the argument is clouded. People with mental illness and addictions often can't ask for anything aside from another hit.
Inevitably, the conversation turns to sex and the fur starts flying. Do women avoid homelessness through sex trade? Men's rights advocates square off against feminists, the issue quickly becomes more heat than light and the humanity of the problem disappears. Recently I saw a very touching article that addressed the humanity. Rather than speak about things I don't know, here's a link. to a woman's story about her homeless father. Maybe if we could reconnect with the humanity of the victims, we'd be more sensitive and proactive.