Homelessness is a complicated challenge to overcome. We’ve talked before about how homelessness is always rooted in trauma. The circumstances might vary greatly from one person to the next, but trauma is never absent.
It doesn’t matter how a person arrives at this point in their life, once they do, they face a number of challenges that many Americans never even think about. These challenges pile on top of their existing trauma and continue to make life increasingly difficult.
In order to solve homelessness in Kansas City, we have to start with developing compassion. Compassion begins with understanding. Here are just a few challenges people experiencing homelessness face on a regular basis that often go unseen by the rest of us.
Finding a restroom
Public restrooms are few and far between in our city. Many businesses require you to purchase from their store before you use their restroom. Most of us don’t spend ample time during the day strategizing where we will relieve ourselves. Unfortunately, people experiencing homelessness don’t always have the same luxury.
When we face challenges, the internet is often the first place we go to solve the problem. If a person does not have access to the internet, they can’t look up a phone number for local resources, they can’t get directions to a facility where they can get help, they can’t apply for aid, they can’t search for jobs, the list goes on.
Access to transportation
Kansas City is working toward improving access to free transportation, but those options are still limited. People experiencing homelessness can find themselves restricted to certain areas for receiving aid, seeking resources, or getting work.
Quality sleep and nutrition
Our capacity to handle difficult things decreases when we do not get adequate sleep and nutrition. When we are tired and hungry, we can experience lethargy, brain fog, and a compromised immune system. When our bodies are run down, it becomes more difficult to do the daily tasks we could do if we were rested and fed.
Experiencing homelessness is one of the most isolating experiences someone can have. When we lack people who love us, include us in their lives, engage us in conversation, and show us they care, it’s easy for our morale to drop and our confidence to bottom out.
The weight of homelessness is heavy. As resources slip away, life becomes more difficult, and finding success can seem extremely bleak. This list is just a glimpse into some of the challenges that people in our community are up against. If you’re interested in getting involved and bringing hope to more people in Kansas City, please get in touch.