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Indybay Feature
Homelessness is a societal problem, not an individual one
by Angelina Torres
Thursday Nov 18th, 2021 7:20 PM
There needs to be more community members and citizens that shouldn't turn a blind eye to issues such as homelessness just because they are not personally affected by it.
Homelessness is a societal problem, not an individual one

BY Angelina Torres

Homelessness is a serious human rights issue. Thousands of Sonoma County residents are not fortunate enough to have these same luxuries or advantages. We have a high population of homeless people living all around us. As a nation, we must do better! Although there are several fantastic services available and individuals on the ground working, it is only solving some of the problems for these individuals. Services provided need to address individual needs. There is this stigma around the homeless population. Some may need mental health services and some others may need addiction recovery services. There are some that don’t need any of those services but may need something else.

What are you doing to help this growing problem? Do you donate? Do you drive by situations and turn a blind eye? If we are able to help in some way, I really wish people would help others in any way that they can because it may come about that we ourselves, need some assistance in our lifetime. Every little bit offered will go a long way. Homelessness happens to people. This happens because of situational factors. Currently, homelessness is more visible than previously noticed. We as humans should as a human right have housing of some sorts. As a community, we should want to help make other people feel like people and not like they are an alien on the streets that people just drive by.

There is this revolving door of activities when it comes to where the unhoused population can go. They are constantly being uprooted from location to location. It’s that saying, “You can go anywhere, but not here.” This is what is known as the NIMBY syndrome. The NIMBY syndrome is a conflict between land use and owners. It “describe the resistance of communities to the sitting of controversial facilities and land use” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY#Origin_and_history). This type of judgement or mentality makes it harder for the ones on the ground trying to find new locations for the unhoused population to be. This can be when encampments are being moved throughout the city, or even when just trying to find a new location for services for them.

When there are so many fantastic ideas that often can be very helpful and needed for the unhoused population, it is often shutdown because of fears of what may be done or fears of how people may act.
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