May 11, 2011

Put Godzilla Back In His Cage

Over the past five months since 2011 began, the impacts of homelessne­ss have kicked down another 128,462 bedroom doors of America's children, claiming more causalitie­s in a battle that we as American's can win and absolutely should win. Astonishin­gly, in cities across America we act as if the best we can do is open a winter homeless family shelter for four months. Then when the shelters close, like those in San Diego did this past few weeks we go back to reacting, managing the impacts with symptom relief programs, and trying to contain the impacts with services. Do the impacts of homelessness just slow down for the spring and summer months while we plan on opening the doors for next year's winter shelters? Of course not. This battle plan is obvioulsy so deeply flawed that it would be laughed out of any war room. And yet we just keep showing up to the fight, year after year, with a pitchfork.

It's like we have accepted defeat and have already submitted to the ruin of hundreds of thousands of our children’s futures. And boy we can sure blog about it. Everyone who has anything to say about homelessne­ss has a blog nowadays.

We do a great job about blogging about what works and what doesn't work, all the while writing more stories, attending more meetings and launching more "comprehen­sive strategies­". I wish I was a cartoonist for the Union Tribune. Picture Godzilla with a yellow wristband that says "Impacts of Homelessne­ss" thrashing undeterred through our suburbs. Now glance­at's all of us with pitch forks and axes chopping at his toes.

A big part of what needs to happen, what MUST happen, is that we must allow ourselves to see the impacts of homelessne­ss on our children as dangerous to them as if a band of terrorist enemies were ravaging our neighborho­ods. Until we start treating this as a real threat, with a real battle plan to push Godzilla back into his cage where he belongs, more innocent lives and more precious futures will be damaged.

Chris Megison
Solutions for Change
President and Executive Director