The daily life of a homeless person involves relatively little structure. As humans, we have grown to focus our lives around the structured schedules forced upon us, as early as our first days in elementary school. For the homeless, the only activity which is definite is the overnight shelter opening in the evening and then closing in the morning. If they choose to sleep in a shelter, these homeless men and women are awoken early, forced out into a cold and cruel world of harsh elements and uncertain fates. Even those who sleep on the streets are forced to withstand getting little sleep, so they do not wake to find all their possessions gone. Some homeless work during the day, while others search for more creative sources of income, while still others wander between what little safe areas exist until shelters open again at night.
There is another group of homeless who are physically unable to work. As such, they are forced to work their way through the system of government agencies intended to help those in need. Instead of outright helping those genuinely in need, the government paperwork locks the homeless in a complex downward spiral and paradox of needing housing to receive benefits and needing benefits to receive housing. As every other human, the homeless rely on their bonds to other people. Some of the homeless are complete family units, living together and keeping their ties strong to survive. Others try to maintain long‐distance connections to their families, oftentimes attempting to hide their status from their loved ones to prevent animosity. The final group consists of those who have experienced loss, either through death or disassociation from loved ones who will not or cannot help their kin. Despite their current relations, thoughts of loved ones keep those in the homeless system going, with the hope they will one day return to “normal” society. As people of the same set of circumstances, they are able to create unique bonds of circumstance. The social connections they create form a supportive network that helps to uplift people or at least keep them going, despite their seemingly hopeless situation. These connections can become so strong; that sometimes a person presented with an opportunity is reluctant to remove themselves from homelessness. The thought of living in an apartment alone seems far too lonely, regardless of how much it improves the situation.
In addition to the rotating stream of people around them, the homeless must also find solace within themselves. It is ultimately the person’s own self‐drive that keeps them persevering despite a system so seemingly hopeless, desperate, and inescapable. Many people find this inner drive through the memories of their past, or even in the faintest glimmer of hope for the future. A large number of people also find drive through faith and religion. Their religion becomes an everyday affair, instead of the once-a-week commitment many observe. Overall, the homelessness system, as it stands, is inherently flawed. The government programs set in place are underfunded, or understaffed, leaving those in need waiting far longer than necessary. And many homeless people go orphans during that period. Those who volunteer their time in those dark and hopeless shelters ultimately burn out. Their original ideas and drive to help are eventually worn down by week after week of witnessing the most hopeless aspect of human life due to the lack of justice and official systems they see around. But remember, they can be your best friends, and among them are those who change tomorrow.
SOCIAL GOOD MESSAGE
Sparrows by morning, live in peaceful nests! Design shouldn’t dominate things, shouldn’t dominate people. It should help people. Don’t spend your time solving your favorite problems, solve problems that need to be solved, generically. A home is a place where you live, and society is a place where your story begins. Honesty shares honesty, as it is honesty’s nature. Stay always in Ablution and get back to the trust you have been, with.