Stop Confusing Homeless and Houseless. He starts with his personal story then explains:
Defining homelessness simply by whether or not you have a home completely misses the point.
I was houseless, yes; I was living without a traditional housing arrangement.
But I was doing it on purpose, because I enjoyed it. That’s the big difference.
…Most importantly, I had a way out if I grew unhappy with the lifestyle.Homeless, Joe explains, is a different animal.
Real homelessness is living outside because you lack the ability, resources, or social status to pay rent and live inside, even though you’d prefer it. There’s nothing fun about that at all.
…The distinction is important because so many people are suffering, and if people start to think homelessness is some kind of fun lifestyle experiment, it draws attention away from the absolute misery that the homeless endure.Joe continues:
…If we really want to help homeless people, I think we should help them meet their basic needs in a secure, stable way. Let’s give them homes first without presenting additional barriers. Let’s not withhold financial aid because they suffer from addiction. Let’s not make it hard for them to find bathrooms, water, food, or a place to sleep. Let’s not stigmatize them for mental illness or substance issues.