Our national consciousness has shifted in recent years from “managing homelessness” to “ending homelessness.” Federal, state, and local policies have focused on specific subgroups, such as veterans, people experiencing “chronic homelessness,” and, more recently, families and youth. In many communities, these efforts have been useful in bringing together new partners, galvanizing public and private support, and shaping public awareness of what it takes to end homelessness.
“Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” – David Gaider
“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” – Author Unknown
Clyde Lloyd shared with me an encounter he had while attending a conference in a hotel. Heading down to the conference check-in area, he was alone in an elevator as it stopped to pick up another passenger. A woman looking at her cellphone entered. Upon glancing up, she stopped abruptly, then quickly exited the elevator murmuring, “Go ahead. I’ll wait for the next one.”
"Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot." —Sun Tzu, The Art of War
"We are all just trying to be holy." —Richard Siken, Snow and Dirty Rain
If we’re going to talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I want to talk about the tactician. I want to talk about the general who methodically moved the war banner of racial equity across the country—who died in the fight.
For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice on December 21 marks the longest night of the year. It has been marked by a rich history of gathering and revelry. Communities traditionally came together to keep a spark of hope alive for a new and brighter tomorrow--literally and metaphorically.
Today, in cities across the country, the Winter Solstice marks a different sort of gathering--one of remembrance, respect, solidarity, and responsibility. We remember those individuals, children, mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers we lost to homelessness and poverty--those we failed to help.
Inexcusable, the slaughter in this world.
Insufficient, the merely decent man.
—At the Restaurant, Stephen Dunn
There’s a certain kind of loss that is supposed to accompany terrorism. A loss of innocence and the sort of sudden and caustic realization that you are not safe—that safety in this world is an illusion, anyone can have access to your personhood at any point. You’re supposed to think to yourself, How could this happen?
I am heartbroken over what happened in Orlando. My heart is with all those we lost, all those who were injured, and all their friends and family. I am an openly lesbian, visibly gender non-conforming person, who is an active member of the Lesbian Gay, Bi, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community, and like most of the community, I’ve been struggling. I have been visibly Queer for several years now, and although it’s not uncommon for me to get weird looks, to hear homophobic things, or to be misgendered, I’ve generally found a safe place with my friends, family, and in my community.
The Friday before Pulse Nightclub’s Latin Night was the target of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history (read Marc Dones' thoughts on the impact of the tragedy in Orlando), I was in Boston at Machine Nightclub’s Latin Night. At this local gay nightclub packed for Pride weekend, my friend and I danced, waited too long at the bar for overpriced drinks, cheered Latinx drag performers and gogo dancers, and left before the bar closed to get a good night’s sleep for the rest of the celebratory weekend.
The next morning, the Saturday morning before Pulse Nightclub’s Latin Night, I hurried to the Boston Pride float I was walking with and took in an unexpected sight. Of the more than 50 people already there, about three quarters were wearing sombreros, in assorted colors and patterns, ready to march to represent a prominent LGBTQ-focused organization that has no unique ties to the Latinx community.
I exchanged a few words with my friends about it. Did you know about this? Whose idea was this? Should we say something?
To kick-off Homelessness Awareness Month, we are posting this blog by Ellen Bassuk, MD that originally appeared on Huffington Post on October 8, 2015 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-l-bassuk/not-one-child-not-one-nig_b_8258580.html.
How can it be in a country as affluent as the United States that 2.5 million children are homeless each year? Although the numbers are climbing, family homelessness is absent from our nation's agenda.