A Hand Full of Excuses, and a Gut Full of Pain

I have been expanding my unscientific information gathering in my travels. Seems just about everywhere I go I need not travel far from my hotel before finding one or more person experiencing homelessness and living outside. Later that day or the next when in a speaking engagement, I will ask housing programs and shelter staff why they think that is, and I can summarize those into five categories:

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A Weed is a Flower Trying to Figure It’s Shit Out

Once upon a time an opinion emerged, held true by the majority: if something grew easily and spread rapidly it must be bad (weeds); if something was harder to grow and required more TLC to succeed it must be good (luscious lawn or precious flowering plants).

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But Today I am Going to be Awesome

Work pressures.

Am I going to make deadlines? Are the people I work with happy? Am I enough to the people that count on me? Does anything I do really make a difference? Am I busy, or am I effective? Am I contributing enough money to the needs of my family? Am I missing life events because of the demands of work? Have I created one meaningful thing or process to contribute? Is there one idea that is truly mine that I have unleashed to the world? Will passion ever trump the days when I feel disconnected and worthless? Am I able to mask my insecurities? Why do I deflect compliments as if they are hollow platitudes? Am I moving towards the end of my career – years away – as if on a conveyor belt in a factory assembly line, just seeing each day or situation the same as the day before?

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Are You Listening?

Society has taught us to listen with the wrong part of the body. You are supposed to listen with your ears. You spend chunks of each day listening to your eyes. We have been listening to the part of our body whose sole job is to see. It is the first tool we learned to judge with. It is the blacksmith of our prejudice and bias.

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The Return of the Leadership Academy on Ending Homelessness

October 25-27, 2016 marks the return of the Leadership Academy on Ending Homelessness. This is the only event of its kind where leaders that believe in ending homelessness come together in a tranquil setting to engage, share and learn with other leaders in the field. Registration is now open!

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Social Service vs. Social Control

You can look at any part of the human services, housing, income support and benefits system, etc. within your community and ask yourself: is what we are doing an example of social service or is it an example of social control?

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When Ego Was Gone

Ever notice how some people make homelessness about them and not the people they serve?

Ever notice that they will make it sound like a hardship no one can possible understand and wear their work like a badge of honour? Martyr syndrome. Messed up.

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Don’t Blame the Person Needing Service

On any given day, lots of things can irk me in the pursuit of ending homelessness. But I can say with absolute certainty that nothing bothered me more than the attempt from the USICH to define an end to veterans homelessness which essentially included a provision that if housing was offered and the person said no, that was good enough so long as the organization checked in to make sure nothing had changed.

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2016: Will We Make it Awesome?

Every year I write out my desires for the coming year. And here are the 11 things I want in 2016:

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Crazy Sh*t Volume 4: The Last of 2015

As the first blog of 2016, I offer you the final instalment of all of the crazy shit I have heard people say, had emailed to me, or witnessed in my travels in the last quarter of 2015.

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