One of the most interesting things that’s happened since I’ve started working as a family advocate at Simpson is the number of conversations I have with friends and family about homelessness. For so many of us, we don’t know how to talk about homelessness. We wonder if we’re saying the right things; we wonder if we’re being politically correct. We’ve got so many questions! What I’ve realized is that while these are valid concerns, the most important thing is to be in action—thinking, talking, learning, working, living to end homelessness. Then, our questions have the power to go somewhere. So here they are—a few of the questions that make me frustrated, hopeful and curious:
- While munching on cookies with my grandparents, they ask if there are many people who are homeless in the Twin Cities, and what the demographics are.
- During a phone conversation with a friend, I’m asked what I talk about during meetings with families in transitional housing.
- At the Thanksgiving table, abundant with food, an aunt asks me why most people become homeless.
- When an uncle is in town for a conference, he asks me about funding sources for our rental subsidies.
- A friend gives me a hug, asking if I am staying safe with all the home visits I make.
- In a letter that comes in the mail, my brother asks about the power dynamics I’ve experienced through my client-advocate relationships.
- Visiting my parents for the weekend, we ask each other what the world would look like without homelessness…and wonder how we can get there.
I could give you bits and pieces of answers I offered, but I don’t have the whole answer anyway. The answer needs to come from all of us—people who collectively have the power to seek truth through change driven by love. So ask away!