Errors In Thinking About Homelessness

Michael Davis of Knowing Me Ministries. Photo by Mary Anne Funk. ©Knowing Me Ministries 2017
Michael Davis of Knowing Me Ministries. Photo by Mary Anne Funk. ©Knowing Me Ministries 2017

Weekly Episode


Errors In Thinking About Homelessness. Michael discusses the signs he sees around Portland, Oregon and comments he hears from people. 



Michael Davis of Knowing Me Ministries addresses the more subtle errors he see and hears about homelessness and about people who are homeless.

Error In Thinking One: We need to move the homeless around from time to time so they will be motivated to change.

Reality: It does the opposite, Michael teaches. When you have to settle, pack and move on again and agin it creates disorientation and people give up. Having a comfortable spot as a human being helps us stay focused.

Error In Thinking Two: They are all so messy and trashy.

Reality: They don't have any more than the average homeowner, it is just that they live in a glass house, they don't have a way to hide their mess the way the rest of us do. Michael discusses the lack of garbage service and a lack of space to protect their belongings as homeowners have. Just because you can see it, doesn't make it worse than your own messes. Michael provides ways you can help.

Errors In Thinking Three: They Don't Want To Change. Michael often hears, “why do you help them, why should I help them, they don't want to change”
Reality: They do want to change, but they often feel stuck.
Michael suggests thinking about things you've had to change and times you've been unwilling to change or struggled to change. Michael shares his personal experience of being stuck in homelessness.

Solution: Trusting them that they want to change. Become a friend to them, help them realize their goals. Developing a relationship and asking them what do you want in life and how can I help you accomplish that.

Errors in Thinking Four: They are illegally camping. Michael gives the definition of camping and discusses what camping means and he questions the idea of illegal camping.

Reality: Camping is getting away from your every day life: they can't get away from their every day life.

Challenge to the listeners: Separate camping from surviving. People are not camping: they are a community of humans trying to survive together and take care of each other. They are a community of survivors.