John and I decided to do a presentation on major or minor causes of homelessness. John discussed the portion speaking on problems from the 1950’s through 1990’s. Some topics he spoke on were crack epidemic, mental institutions closing, jobs and marriage, and destruction of skid row. Each of these events greatly effected homelessness and still does till this day, even though some of these reasons happened years ago. John gave amazing detail on these topics and their direct effect to homelessness. I spoke on issues from 1990’s until now. I talked about income inequality, lack of affordable housing, recessions, and laws. Laws played a huge role in continuing this form of oppression, but it was now backed up by the system in ways different from before. Allowing people to use restrooms in restaurants and allowing them to sleep in public places without being harassed constantly by cops. Gullain’s law is a good example of how the government chose to handle the homeless population. Police began to become strict on minor laws and enforcing them more. Laws against loitering, public indecency, and sleeping in public spaces. More tickets began to be given for these starting a cycle of crime for these individuals. Tickets would be given and they wouldn’t come to court, so then another ticket would be given, but since they didn’t have an address for it to be sent to they never got the chance to get it. Causing a bench warrant, these people being picked up and taken to jail for days or months. I believe running them through the system this way may be less efficient and more money than housing them.
The goal of the presentation was to address homelessness since this topic isn’t talked about much and the truth behind this issue isn’t told correctly. We had 10 open minded people come in and hear about the issue wit open hearts. That allows them to take the knowledge they have gained and tell others about it. Learning the causes helps bring up how to fix the issues and put action. I would love to change people’s actions and behaviors towards the homeless, so they can help contribute to solutions of this problem.
Doing the powerpoint and discussion together worked very well, giving everyone something to go off of. Allowing the space to be open to questions and it helped spark a conversation rather quickly. Many questions were asking not just about the causes but also other topics, like solutions, who is the population of homeless, inequality, and equity. We spoke about the population of homeless in Redlands, particularly race.
I don’t feel like there was any real failures, it went so well. But I do wish I spoken more on solutions so people can find ways to help and make change. We spoke a little on the topic but only on tent camps and how much these would benefit the economy since, they could start gardens and businesses from within to support themselves.