Friday, August 8, 2008
Warehousing the homeless part four
Can you believe I found this photo when I googled "transitional housing"? Oh well, google image search isn't perfect! Looks more like jail to me. Or I dunno...in jail you don't have quite so many roommates!
Anyway, when I was talking to mr. nice guy about the staff evaluations I also told him about how we need some structured wet housing. He was totally on board with me, which was really nice. I first brought up the fact that we really need someone whose role is to try and encourage and help people to find housing. Some might argue that this process needs to be initiated for the client, but I think for some people, they've just lost hope that it's even possible. They need a boost, and a reminder that there's help and hope before they are able to begin to grasp the possibility.
Then we talked about how valuable it is to be able to have a sense of ownership of something. To be able to have anything, even just a little space, to call your own. I place where you can store a couple things, where you can do your laundry and know that you're not saying goodbye to those clothes forever. Where it's possible to own more then one set of clothes! He agrees with me, that having a safe place to stay that's "yours" is a very, very good start.
Our detox unit might be moving, and I want to turn to the existing space into wet housing, instead of making the shelter bigger. I'm not sure exactly how that would work, but eventually (this is a long term moving plan here), I will put something in writing to our executive director, because I think it's an awesome idea, and having a place like that on site would make it quite comfortable for the clients who were likely to use it. I mean, there's a million things that would have to be considered, but, I just keep talking to people and getting them to open their minds to the possibilities.