To everyone who chimed in when I asked for some ideas about how to help a homeless client jump the culture divide to being housed, THANK YOU.

Thank you for caring and for taking time to think about a population that is so incredibly vulnerable. Mostly, they are like “normal people.” Most are wonderful, funny, and fallible. Some are drifting through their world waiting for things to be done for them. Some are kind of awful, probably because they’ve been damaged by someone, but they’re still kind of awful. Some have mental health issues, some have substance issues, some don’t.

Sometimes the only difference between “us” and “them” is a job and a place to poop (seriously, if you lived in a tent out behind a Target, where would you go in the middle of the night?).

The client’s case manager was right on it. She’s a great advocate and was able to navigate what was basically a misunderstanding. The client and her partner seemed to understand what the issues are and why they are a problem.

FWIW, our agency has received a couple state housing grants and we’ve housed about 55 people in the last 18-20 months. Most have kept their housing and I found out at a statewide meeting that the program, while not guaranteed funding, is considered a permanent program.