Treat homelessness in the 'care mix'

Treat homelessness in the 'care mix'

Thursday, January 28, 2021

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Dear Editor,

Homelessness must now immediately be treated as a hospital emergency, and the care of the indigent would best be served under this tent.

Hospitals already have the facilities to feed patients and provide bed spaces. There is adequate security and policing.

A special unit is needed at each hospital to document the levels of need and then to place people in other halfway houses must be seen as critical.

Everyone needs to chip in — churches as well as those who manage housing accommodations, including the hotel industry. All households and other accommodation models can offer their own options in the “care mix”.

In essence, homelessness needs to be destigmatised. Perhaps special arrangements could be made by all organisations to have on their buildings a socially distanced cot area, supported by showers and washrooms. Amenities for quick laundry and a meal should also be considered.

In some cases people only need a night or two, or even day care, to move to safer places with a friend or relative. Full time paid employment and occupation therapy are useful cures that should also be pursued.

Mental institutions worldwide have recorded that many people who are patients have been discarded by family and friends. Strangely, their property are often confiscated by 'well-meaning, concerned citizens' (bearing very close relations), who cart them to hospital because of their reported behaviour.

COVID-19 is proving to be more of a blessings than a bane. The pandemic is truly unmasking the very best by retarding the forces of evil shackled by curfews. Even though murders continue, “business as usual” has been shaken. Our societies have been awakened to change the sins of our systems.

Curbing the spread of diseases requires the generosity, care, and our hearts must be opened with abundant interventions, and not just a few band-aids. To this extent, care to the less fortunate, including the homeless, is no longer seasonal.

Ul Jem

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