Homeless people living on the street dont want to go to shelters because of addictions.
In a one dimensional sense, it might appear that way on the surface yes, but there are more dimensions. (And homless people dont all want to go to shelters for other reaons to CLICK HERE)
Addiction is very difficult to sustain intensively on the street compared to someone having a job. Having met people on the streets over a period of time, who I assumed initially might be full on addicts. I came to see that its wasnt the case, as I saw more of some people over a period over some years.. One of the simple reasons is someone trying to also find food on the street, doesnt have enough continual income to sustain these habits all the time.
Rehab is not neccessarily the only solution either. Streetscapes (CLICK LINK ) has found that up to 60% of people employed in their work scheme manage their own addictions and release themselves from them just through vegetable gardening work
But schemes such as Streetscapes are costly enterprises to setup and the numbers are small . we have 7000 approx on the street in cape town.
Where people are addicted ,they experience shame.. Shame breeds denial. More Acceptance and dialogue on the street with professionals or concerned public, can start the process of less denial. But this hardly exists. And even then many complexities remain. Most users I have spoken to are looking for a way out . They are looking for rehab in conducive settings.
Many shelters are not the most conduive to rehab either as some managers of shelters have admitted to mebecause dealers live just round the corner .
There are also underlying issues that need more awareness on the part of a too often judging public that exacerbate the issues.
People who have escaped from gangs find their onto the street in safer suburbs . From poverty where a family cannot support enough of them. From broken families caused also mostly by poverty. Are these not real background issues? not addiction per se,
Addiction can also begin from a factor as simple as From escaping the cold 0n the street at night ,(alcohol) . From a lack of beds in shelters . 1000 beds to 7000 on street in Ctown ...addictions are mostly a result only of such factors - many other issues lead to addiction
Either way, acceptance not judging would go some way to helping. Counsellers operating full time in strategic suburbs and venues would be wonderful to help those who are ready ( and we can help them become ready by giving people the message that no matter what their circumstances they are valued - whether if be by relieving hungerm but a shot casual chat , or a smile in passing ) to get to the bottom of such issues .
City of Cape town and Public funding coming together to provide funding and a venues would go along way to provide a route that get s to the bottom of the issues where people are ready, if this could be arranged.
For some depending on their support structure this might be enough, but for others, as a step toward a shelter which properly supported a intensive rehab like the Havens outpatient MATRIX or and other intensive in house rehabs (listed soon ) , this would be a good start.
MORE TO FOLLOW .