Homelessness is an epidemic that affects thousands of people in the United States, the majority being single adults. Stigma and shame are emotions that can saturate the homeless experience. People who are experiencing homelessness can be subjected to shame from society, their community, and themselves, but also by the very organizations and social workers who are meant to help end their period of homelessness. When a person feels shamed and stigmatized by a social worker or organization, they are less likely to seek out or return and receive the services that can help them change their circumstances. Incorporating the key components of shame resilience theory (SRT) into the engagement phase with people who are experiencing homelessness can have an immense impact on that person’s ability to navigate their experience and build resiliency.
Ryan-DeDominicis, T. A Case Study Using Shame Resilience Theory: Walking Each Other Home. Clin Soc Work J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-019-00745--9
Homelessness we know is a volatile topic and is escalating on a daily basis. All anyone has to do is turn on the news, it’s a topic that has earned a spot at the forefront of conversation and dominates the media on any given day. People are angry and growing angrier by the moment. People are concerned for their streets, neighborhoods and communities , their children, the value of their home, which translates to those concerned as safety. To feel safe in ones own community and home enviorment. Homelessness affects us all on many levels it carries a bevy of emotions for us all. But what about those that find themselves on the streets. Having found their way to the streets perhaps from a traumatic event, loss of a job then home, drugs, alcohol, abuse, the list isn’t terribly lengthy but the topic is complex. It is however, a problem that has solutions, solutions that can work. But for those of us desiring to make an impact and to be an impact can be frustrating at times wanting to be heard and few listening, getting caught up in the red tape and politics of the problem ,stalls the whole process and becomes a thorn in the side of many just trying to accomplish a task and move the process forward. Education is key for public understanding and realizing that not everyone on the streets is there by choice. Meeting the individual and or families living on the streets or perhaps moving from shelter to shelter deserve that one opportunity to integrate back into society, maintain employment and live in clean affordable housing. That can only be accomplished by understanding the complete problem within society and within the individual surviving on the streets. It begins with all of us addressing the problem openly and honestly with each other as a community and working together as a community. If you have an organization that desires to collaborate with us on this journey reach out message us. We are all in, desiring to be part of the solution. Or if you want someone to delicately approach this topic to help educate we can do that as well. We look forward to hearing from you. Join us in helping to change lives.