A change in how we, as a society, relate to our wealth and power and practical compassion lie at the heart of a solution to homelessness. To reduce or even eliminate a social issue as pervasive as homelessness will take the combined efforts of government, philanthropic, corporate, and private organizations along with a change in how we, as a society, view our relationship with our fellow human beings and our relationship to wealth and power.
A growing homeless population, the need for social distance, and overcrowded shelters have left some cities looking for alternative solutions like a block of motel rooms or purchasing entire motels to temporarily house the homeless. Hotel renovations or new builds can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per unit and take months to complete.
Wealth, the acquiring, retaining, and consuming of it, stands as one of the most pervasive forms of approved societal addiction since the beginning of civilization. The symptoms of a society ripening for an addiction-fed decline are not obvious because they subtly hide behind validation, idealization, stereotypes, and social structures.
The diversity of the homeless population creates natural obstacles to needed services. Limited funds, space, and human resources put a strain on the very people and organizations striving to connect this vulnerable group with the assistance they need. Part of those challenges comes from the diverse range of people in the homeless population.
Homelessness not only exists in our country and world today but has been a major destructive part of human psychology for centuries. It is a symptom of a pervasive problem that relates to attitudes and perceptions surrounding wealth and power. Society has taken the approach of treating the symptom but does not acknowledge or take into account the root of the illness — addiction to wealth and power.