Re: Some comments

Virginia Sellner (wch@vcn.com)
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 08:28:04 -0700 (MST)


PLACE

Why do we have homelessness
in this the richest nation in the world?
We are divided -- us and them - the housed and the unhoused.
What will it take to rid ourselves of this disgrace --
to bring us together -- to unite us all?
More than the creation of affordable housing.
More than availability of living wage jobs.
The housed have PLACE -- a home, community, friends,
nurturing relationships, physical and emotional attachments.
These are lost to the unhoused.
The center of their world is ever changing,
Often dangerous and unhealthy.
They are separated from the housed.
Shattered -- they have no PLACE.
Deprived of home -- of place,  privacy,
 belonging, rootedness, community,
without a reference point --
no way to define who they are.
Losing your home is to lose part of yourself, 
the meaning of your life,
producing a profound sense of loss -- of grief
How did this happen?
We think more of the unhoused AS A PROBLEM
rather than THE PROBLEMS of the unhoused.
This view results in lists and rules.
Hoops to jump through to obtain services
demanding and demeaning.
Rules that no housed person would tolerate.
Smacking of racism and classism.
How do we solve this --
how do we create PLACE for all?
The housed who have never experienced homelessness
do not know the answers -- 
cannot understand the pain -- the loss, the grief
Listen to the voices of the unhoused
hear their needs -- respond positively
Take responsibility --
Bring a sense of community -- of belonging
cohesiveness to all of society -- 
Bring a sense of PLACE back to the unhoused.
Each of us has a right to a place in society
A physical place -- a symbolic place
homelessness will not end without this sense of PLACE


Virginia Sellner 1996
Virginia Sellner
Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless
P. O. Box 1232
Cheyenne, WY 82003-1232
Located at 910 Central Ave. Upstairs
(307) 634-8499
email:  wch@vcn.com
web page:  http://www.vcn.com/~wch