Rethinking Homelessness The Real Stories of the Homeless in Central Florida
Posted by: Andrae Bailey, CEO- Central Florida Commission on Homelessness
Stereotypes are powerful forces in our society.
When we start out with a misconception on an issue, we usually struggle to find a solution. Homelessness is no different; in Central Florida we struggle with many false impressions about the homeless in our community. If you were to survey citizens of our community on their perspective of what homelessness is, you would hear those misconceptions first-hand.
The reality is that the homeless in Central Florida are usually in that situation largely because of factors beyond their control. When you understand the number of veterans who served our country and are now on our streets, those who are chronically homeless suffering with mental illness, the disabled who cannot care for themselves, and, of course, victims of abuse who find themselves without shelter after fleeing from the hands of their abuser, the face of the homeless takes on a different look.
Add to that, the thousands of Central Florida families struggling each day to earn enough money to keep their heads above water and the picture becomes larger.
The Rethink Homelessness Campaign was created to challenge our beliefs on the homeless, and the causalities that lead them to the streets of our community. As one who has worked with the homeless and those on the verge of losing online casino their homes for many years, I can certainly see the change of the face of homelessness in the past two decades. When you see the faces and hear the stories of those living on our streets, there is always a story of someone who does not desire to be on the streets and needs a hand up to make it back to place where they can stand on their own two feet.
Please read these stories and others on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and other social media outlets. I challenge you to listen to five stories of the homeless in Central Florida over the next few months and then ask yourself if you still believe the stereotypes about the homeless. I have a feeling that these stories will change your perceptions, and feelings, about who those suffering from homelessness really are, ultimately leading you to a place of action for those in need.