The semester is coming to a close, and its time to reflect a little bit. One of the things we were tasked with doing was to teach a particular part of the class, to a group outside of class. For this, Brandy and I talked about misconceptions of homeless people, and we presented to a group of our friends. We definitely could have done some things better, but overall, we taught some people some things and started a discussion. We specifically talked about the misconceptions around the idea of the homeless being crazy, lazy, and violent. We tried to shift the thinking of our peers from a individual way of thought to a systems view, showing how income inequality and lack of affordable housing create the cycle of homelessness. Even though it was only two people, it was a little nerve-raking trying to educate people on an idea that we only have truly known about for a semester. The setting was also not ideal, and there could have been more preparation from that aspect.
There is still a lot left I want to learn about homelessness, but this class has definitely given me a good background to go on from. I have shifted from viewing homelessness as a individual issue to an issue with how our society is set up. I have learned about the true causes of homelessness, pertaining to income inequality and lack of affordable housing. I have shifted what I think of as a partial solution. Most importantly, I have shifted how I view homelessness as a whole. The course materials and readings have been really great to engage with. I look forward to taking this knowledge outside of class, and sparking conversation with the people around me, trying to make as much of a change as I can.