Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives
Category

What Works

woman-hand-holds-wooden-house-against-the-sun-stockpack-adobe-stock
Woman hand holds wooden house against the sun
Woman hand holds wooden house against the sun

Assessing Alternatives to Homelessness

Homeless people given their own apartments are often the same. We are apparently made for community with at least one other person. Read More ›
distorted image of street
Distorted image of a town street on a rainy day with rare ray of sun shining through crystal ball
Photo licensed via Adobe Stock

A Different View of Homelessness

The relationship of homelessness and mental illness is complex. Some disorders precede time on the streets and some result from it, but Ullman is right to note that “individuals who spend long periods living unsheltered have a very high prevalence” of serious mental illness and debilitating substance-use. Read More ›
silhouettes line
People crowd shadows lined up against a red brick wall. They are in a queue for changes in life. Social distance, covid and immigration issue concept
Photo licensed via Adobe Stock

Varieties of Homelessness

After seven months of getting back into the flow of writing about poverty, my New Year’s resolution is to continue doing ground-level or historical columns, but to try as well to map out the overall debate and see what each side has to contribute. Read More ›
jackson-in-an-urban-center-in-rural-tennessee-stockpack-adobe-stock
Jackson in an Urban Center in Rural Tennessee
Jackson in an Urban Center in Rural Tennessee

Relief and dreams in Jackson, Tennessee

As Stephanie Woodley, 42, sat last month in the dayroom of Area Relief Ministries (ARM) in Jackson, Tenn., she said the stabbing of her ex-husband was no big deal. “The gash is only this big,” she said as she extended her right thumb and index finger to demonstrate a one-incher.  Woodley said her ex-husband tried to push their daughter, Maddie, down the stairs, so Maddie stabbed him. Maddie moved in with her aunt in Memphis, and Woodley was sleeping on the streets in Jackson, 88 miles away. Woodley’s dark almond eyes teared up: “I miss my daughter.”  Woodley showed the homescreen on her phone: a picture of Maddie standing next to a pink agapanthus flower. She said Maddie has offered Read More ›

fh-bucket-toilets-prolong-camping-notitle

Some Neighbors Say Bucket Toilets Prolong Encampments

King County is accommodating campers. Holly lives in an RV and says for the first time at this location, county crews handed out toilet buckets and mini pop up tents for privacy. But this is not what some neighbors wanted. Read More ›
watercolor-painting-of-medieval-castle-at-sunrise-landscape-stockpack-adobe-stock
Watercolor painting of medieval castle at sunrise landscape
Watercolor painting of medieval castle at sunrise landscape

Different Time and Place, Same Dilemmas

In the 33 years since I’ve been on-and-off writing about homelessness issues, many readers have asked the same questions and reported the same challenges to conscience: Should I give to the person at the street corner or the freeway entrance? How can I discern who will use a dollar for food and who will use it for drugs? When I give, am I doing it primarily to feel good or to help a fellow human? Read More ›
man-standing-on-street-is-collecting-money-for-charity-and-holds-jar-with-coins-stockpack-adobe-stock
Man standing on street is collecting money for charity and holds jar with coins.
Man standing on street is collecting money for charity and holds jar with coins.

Learning From History

In helping the homeless we should be both generous and discerning. If we only provide material help in a way that enables addiction and overlooks mental illness, our generosity may be selfishness that gives ourselves a warm glow but hurts others. Read More ›
people-support-each-other-in-a-rehab-session-stockpack-adobe-stock
People support each other in a rehab session
People support each other in a rehab session

Human Lives

If you've seen the TV show "Welcome Back, Kotter," you may sense a bit of what I'm feeling now. During the 1990s I wrote a lot about homelessness, and I’m jumping back into the subject now with Fix Homelessness and the crucial subtitle of this website, "How to rebuild human lives." Read More ›