the only easy day was yesterday

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


This is a more serious meditation on my homeless idea. Clearly I don't have the funds, nor likely will I ever, to start such a large-scale project. I am still of two heads on the issue of homeless people, but this idea intends to side step those problems, but there are many logistical issues which I would appreciate input on.

So seeing the unaccomplishable nature of setting up an entire housing thing with legal crap which I don't feel like going into because it is useless, I was thinking rather about talking to my school about setting up some sort of free resource center for educating mainly the homeless population of San Francisco towards getting GED's. Logically the next step after GED is City College, which costs money. Here I would have to have an intricate knowledge of the city government and ways to work out some sort of way to get funding for this program such that the homeless in question could be paid through city college. There are so many problems, though: they still dont have food or money, no houses, and largely no motivation to participate in such a program.

Ideally, and I will talk to someone more knowledgeable about this sort of thing, I would like to have some system of law set up such that if a man was caught loitering too many times (something more specific, though) then they would be arrested or forced into the program. I don't know because there's problems with the law.

But that's all pipe dreaming, what I'd like to do, because my goal is to be a teacher of some sort, is involve myself in educating people. Another point in my favor is that we are arguably in or nearing a recession and educating people and providing more jobs out of the garbage floating through our streets (I use this imagery from the standpoint of the government in itself); making something, more domestic jobs, and maybe even a larger market for apartment renting, or even house buying, depending on what sort of little domino effect it could have.

There are many homeless people in San Francisco, but it's simple to concede that most of them are likely crazy or unwilling to participate in such a program. This is why legal involvement would be necessary to effect any participation.

So my current state of the idea is a room which is supplied with the appropriate text books, a few computers, and one or two people who are qualified or willing and knowledgeable about all that is needed to pass a GED exam.

Clearly the problem is that no one is going to fund an empty room, pay for books, not to mention the people (though feasibly the people could be volunteers), in hope that maybe some homeless people would show some initiative.

So give me new perspective, is my idea entirely off, is there a better way of going about such an initiative?... 

1 comment:

The W said...

i doubt they still do this, but im pretty sure lower level prisons used to have classes, where professors would come in an volunteer their time. im almost certain that people got degrees from these programs. thats why i think one of the old school slang terms for prison is college. as far as your idea is concerned, it seems that you have to determine the backround of the homeless. i remeber hearing about this lace in Queens called Bellvue (i think), it was a mental institution. i think Reagan cut federal funding, and most/all the pateints were released. thats why a lot of homeless in nyc are crazy people. maybe theres a similar situation in all major cities. the best way to start would be to look into the history of mental health facilities in sf. see if there are any, and if they are federally funded. also check to see if such facilities are revolving door, or actually helping people. an intial push can be to make sure the community is providing its mentally unstable citizens with a option other than homelessness. once youve figured that out, you will be able to find your core group of homeless individuals who might actually be able/want to learn something and get there lives together. its sad because i think there will always be people that are so finished with living life that they just want to remain drunk and apathetic the rest of their lives. the idea would be to find people before they reach the point of no return. public works projects are always an option for those who are uninterested in book-learning. thats my two cents