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View Diary: Young, gay, and put out on the streets by your family (37 comments)

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  •  'Things' are part of the problem (1+ / 0-)
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    The reason I 'downplay' (your choice of words, not mine) things is that our material culture makes us think that tossing a few things at the homeless, like socks or a tarp, are going to solve the problem.  They aren't.  

    The homeless need a place to call home first.  Even if it is a tent in someone's backyard, like LFB's post upthread, it is a place from which they can start to get their life back together.  

    The cities that are called the meanest cities to the homeless have one thing in common -- they deny the homeless any place within the city limits to set down, even temporarily.  It's akin to the signs that some cities would put at the edge of town during the Depression advising the unemployed to keep on moving.  

    The Communists had an interesting way of taking care of the homeless problem.  Everyone had an official place of residence.  Anyone who didn't was a bomzh (Russian acronym for "without official place of residence"), and the social workers were charged with assigning them to a place.  So there really was no homelessness in the Soviet Union.  (But it becomes a completely different discussion if you want to talk about the quality of that housing.)

    As long as housing is a commodity to be distributed by the rules of capitalism, there will be those that are left out.  Capitalism is never about people and their social problems, just about making profits on commodities.  And in that world, gay teenagers just don't have the capital to play the game.  Giving them a few things (dry socks and a tarp) may tide them over until tomorrow, but what they really need is a place.

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