People wish for many things. We wish for things to be other than how they are. We wish that bad things would not happen. We wish for terrible things to be better than they are.
When things do not go as wished, it can be hard to explain. Sometimes we think it’s unlucky. Sometimes we think someone did something wrong. Sometimes, people create stories to explain why things went wrong.
One of the things I have noticed about my mother being mentally ill and homeless is that people make presumptions about her experience before even hearing the whole story.
“Of course, she goes to a shelter and soup kitchen.”
“She must have a car to sleep in.”
“She has a tent.”
The fact that she chooses open air defies the notion that anyone out on the street would naturally accept help. It is something many people have not even considered as a possibility and when they hear of it, they resist.
It is difficult to accept a 78-year-old woman living on the street. It should be difficult to accept. It should be unacceptable for *anyone* to live on the street.
It is impossible to address if we do not understand the full scope. To begin to understand, we must know that we don’t know.
To understand, we need to face the vulnerability many of us face. How far away from homelessness are any of us? For most of us, one paycheck.
We need to understand the causes of homelessness: economic, societal, medical, etc.
We need to understand the scope of these causes, how these causes affect people.
There is far more to understand than I can put in this article. We can with understanding what it.