Why don't they just go to a shelter? But would you want to be here?
There is a great deal of stigma around homelessness and much that reinforces those negative perceptions.
"Shelters and other housing supports are not designed with dignity or healing in mind. The institutional construction, materials and surfaces, are intended to house en masse, control behaviour, and mitigate challenging sanitation demands".
Now that we know better, it is incumbent upon us all to do better. Now we know better? What does that mean? I'm here to tell you.
It's called Evidence-Based Design. An emerging discipline that originates from the healthcare sector. It's about creating healing environments. It's about evidence that proves that we can create built environments that result in improved outcomes. You're intrigued, right?! So let me give you the skinney on this.
Reseach has proven that intentional design in the healthcare sector has resulted in faster recovery rates, reduced anxiety for patients and family, shorter hospital stays, reduced need for pain management medications and much more. That's all a very big deal.
We have the knowledge and power to apply this in many other domains.
Creating healing spaces for persons with invisible injuries is a powerful and thus far under utilized tool.
I am here to create the awareness and the need for those desperately needed environments.
No where is this application of more importance than for our marginalized population. This opportunity is just one important part of wrap around support services.
What has always been absent in our efforts to support those at risk and experiencing homelessness, is restoring dignity in a meaningful way. One such way is to rethink how the environments of housing support look. Are we really providing all the tools to provide a path of healing and recovery?
The answer is NO. But we can and will - now that we know better.
Why "they" don't want to seek a shelter is because on many levels it's not better or safer than being on the streets. That is a tragic reality. You may not get that, but before you judge - walk a mile in their shoes.
Help me create the change.