On homelessness, hopelessness, and the culture we live in

I’ve had opportunity this past while to hone in on homelessness. 

My definition has needed sharpening.  I once asked what we could do for homeless people.  The reply was – “Put them in a home.” 

Simple but true.  Then there would be no homelessness!

. . . Not so simple!

The homeless find shelter on other’s couches or in short term residences.  They are not homeless by definition.  But they are homeless by lifestyle and circumstance.

At the same time, the subculture has a whole set of rules.  We all live by law – the rules that surround our culture.  A subculture lives by two sets of laws. The dominant culture’s and their culture. 

Often the laws clash. 

Our next door neighbour’s house is in foreclosure –they are now homeless.  The commandeered house contents are now sitting in a trailer ready to head to the town disposal site. 

This is where determining the spirit of the law and the letter of the law becomes vital.  In a poverty situation, where the dominant culture is dispensing of “junk”, is that junk then open for retrieval?  When is that retrieval stealing?  When do we argue law and when do we argue grace?

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