Karen Arnold

The misery and trauma of homelessness doesn’t end with a lease. This is a common misconception among the under exposed. Whether domiciled and secure or still on the street and in survival mode, folks are ill-informed about why people are dying in the states of street living, shelter and various points beyond. Simply put, they don’t know how to live. It goes way beyond that though.

The belief that having a roof and walls with a set of keys to jingle is the end of homelessness, is a dangerous myth. Just consider the percentage of folks that turn the key, take a seat and become the “dearly” departed.

I submit that if you don’t live, you die. Father Horace McKenna taught us back in the early ‘80s that taking a holistic approach would resolve this issue via a domino effect of education, empowerment and economic development the community would have become self-sustaining. And back then, it worked.

But seldom do struggling people today receive the supports they need to develop and move on. More often, they receive a place to be out of sight, out of mind and off your caseload.