As adults, if we have never experienced homelessness, it can be really tempting to turn away and not engage with the humanity of the situation. Sometimes it’s just too upsetting and we feel guilty or even embarrassed about our own comparative security. We need reminding of the importance of engaging with homelessness empathetically and that it is not as far away as we might like to think.
Often it isn’t just one thing, most people become homeless because a lot of challenges in their life play out at the same time creating an impossible situation. But most people don’t want to hear all the reasons they might become homeless because we don’t want to believe it could be true for us. Out of sight out of mind.
This is why states like Texas in recent months have a new law that criminalizes public camping and bans cities from adopting policies that prohibit or discourage the enforcement of any public camping ban. People who don’t comply with the law can be ticketed, arrested, and fined up to $500. Arresting, fining and punishing people for being homeless does nothing to address homelessness.
On today’s podcast we are joined by community activist Regina Jackson, to share insights from her work as President & CEO of the East Oakland Youth Development Center. For the past 27 years, Regina has provided services and support for homeless youth in the city of Oakland through housing, job training and life skill development opportunities. On this episode she will share why homelessness is an issue for all of us.