Daily Bread for 6.27.22: Why Link to Houston’s Response to Homelessness?

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:18 AM and sunset 8:37 PM for 15h 18m 43s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 2.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater School Board goes into closed session shortly after 6 PM and returns to open session beginning at 7 PM.

On this day in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War, sailors start a mutiny aboard the Russian battleship Potemkin.

So, why would a blogger in Whitewater, Wisconsin link to a story about Houston‘s solutions to homelessness? (See FREE WHITEWATER on 6.26.22 ‘How Houston Moved 25,000 People From the Streets Into Homes of Their Own.’)

The answer appears early in the Michael Kimmelman’s story:

Houston has gotten this far by teaming with county agencies and persuading scores of local service providers, corporations and charitable nonprofits — organizations that often bicker and compete with one another — to row in unison. Together, they’ve gone all in on “housing first,” a practice, supported by decades of research, that moves the most vulnerable people straight from the streets into apartments, not into shelters, and without first requiring them to wean themselves off drugs or complete a 12-step program or find God or a job.

There are addiction recovery and religious conversion programs that succeed in getting people off the street. But housing first involves a different logic: When you’re drowning, it doesn’t help if your rescuer insists you learn to swim before returning you to shore. You can address your issues once you’re on land. Or not. Either way, you join the wider population of people battling demons behind closed doors.

Successful charitable efforts require private support (that’s the very concept of charity) and those efforts (including religious ones) should act urgently and graciously.

Urgently: food, clothing, and shelter are human needs of immediacy, and should not be delayed through long discussions or training programs. There is the old saying about teaching a man to fish so that he might become self-sufficient, but if he should starve while learning the training would be for naught.

Graciously: neither public nor private institutions (including religious ones) should expect ideological agreement before providing urgent assistance. Aid is its own purpose, and those in government or private life who would offer aid with the expectation of being loved should be reminded that relief from starvation must never become an aphrodisiac.

In its aid-first approach, Houston is a good example for many communities, including Whitewater.

Planting giant sequoia trees to offset carbon footprints:

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