Homelessness is a condition that is known by the society. In many countries the population of homeless has been increasing, which requires especial attention from authorities and government. Many factors contribute to the condition of homelessness such as: economic, family breakdown and substance abuse issues. As a result, the interventions might be vast, which may bring different approaches and methodologies to decrease the population of homeless people in the streets, and also empowering them to have a new perspective of life.
There are two approaches of homelessness, which took my attention. The first one is the Oasis Book Club that takes place in Boston. This is a group of volunteers that created a small group of people to read and discuss books that are chosen by them. It brings a positive return. As Tobin said in the article on WBUR news (2010): ‘Small groups where they are listened to, where their voice is heard, where they are heard, reinforce that sense of self-worth and value. And that’s what’s at the core of the book club.’
Once invisible and discriminated against, now known and valued for who they are. It brings an interesting experience for those who do not feel part of the society. Even though the approached do not come up with an effective intervention to change their reality, by offering them a shelter as a regular tool that is commonly used by professionals of the field, it influenced them to have a sense of belonging and dignity.
An NPR article also highlights “What’s so important about the club, is that its members finally feel like someone cares what they think” (Tobin, 2010). Therefore, it also makes them have critical thoughts, sometimes might bring them back to life and also change their lives. It happened with one of their members, and the group was one of the reasons that made him change his life.
The second project is Housing First that takes place in Utah. They have an idea of taking people that have been living on the streets for months or years, and giving them a house. They believe that giving a home first is more effective than carrying them to shelters. Even though the reason is to try to be less expensive for the state.
Those approaches seem to be effective even though they are different from the regular approaches already known by society. Beyond the reality of their condition, it shows others alternatives to give them a sense of belonging and a value that may go beyond their reality. In addition, it can be a good tool for helpers who work with the homeless. Is important that a helper be aware of his or her role in dealing with the homeless. Novel interventions can be helpful, even if these interventions have not been seen by the helper before.
Beyond this fact, it is necessary for the helper to learn about the homeless person’s reality, which they are set in. If the helper does not understand this process, according to Corey and Corey (2016): “You might lose certain clients if you do not demonstrate an understanding of how their culture affects their choices and actions” (p.73). In every area of approach Corey and Corey (2016) say: “We must embrace our client’s’ worldview and understand their value system to be help to them and to be agents of change and empowerment. Even if we hold a very different set of values, our ethical obligation is to assist clients in meeting therapeutic goals (…) (p.73).
In conclusion, according to what we are reading and listening to in class, regardless of the field that helpers work in, they need to know that sometimes they are going to be a voice for those that do not have a voice to advocate for themselves, and somehow making a positive difference in someone’s daily life. Even though it takes time to be confident with the work that they are doing. They need to know how important is to deal with culture and different values. Empathy and professionalism make a total difference, principally when a life could be changed by the intervention of a helper, and also be a voice for those that do not have a voice or help to empower them to explore a new perspective on life.