Homeless People Need Friends


Here’s the thing with homelessness plans. They forget one big factor.

That is, people are social creatures. People want to be around other people.

I talked with one of many homeless persons for a series I was doing at the Citizen a number of years ago. He told me the most frightening thing he could think of is living alone in a room with a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling and having no friends and family. More than disease, hunger, cold and violence, he feared being alone.

He was living under the Laurier Avenue bridge with a number of men and women that people dubbed at the shelters, The Dirty Dozen. They were the most far-gone of the homeless in the city.

Another person in the group said that he longed for this filthy ugly spot under the bridge when he was in jail.

But this is where their friends are. They needed friendship more than anything else.

So you won’t solve homelessness, if that is possible and that’s unlikely, unless you find a way to give homeless people a sense of community … in other words, friends.

They don’t want to live alone … hence the community of shelters.


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