Since I was younger I have always had the issue of homelessness on my mind. While reviewing Chapters in our text on Social Issues and Community Development, I wondered how planning could collide with our vast population of volunteers within communities to help those in need. Aside from soup kitchens and shelters, I was thinking along the lines of the possibility of zoning for non-profit facilities that could fall under the “group home” category. What I had in mind was a type of pod system which is used in China for workers that are too far from home and need to rest for the night at a very low cost. The sleeping pod is clean, cozy, and can be closed for privacy and safety. What I would propose to help with people that have lost their homes and are on the streets would be a pod type facility with adjacent shower stalls and bathrooms. This may sound ridiculous and look funny, but it would be safe and clean and cared for by volunteers of the city that it was constructed within. How would we fund such a facility? Just as the concept of “suspended coffee” explained in this article, http://www.suspendedcoffees.com/ where people are able to purchase a second cup of coffee that can be taken later in the day but a perfect stranger in need of a warm beverage, I think the same idea can be used to provide sleeping quarters for the weary.For people wanting to directly help the homeless (but may want to do in anonymously) would PAY IT FORWARD by either making donations online or paying in person for nightly stays at this facility to get some warm rest and take a shower. I believe the public would LOVE to see this occur to keep human being out of the cold and show them how their city cares for them. Another option would be to join forces with public YMCA to utilize facilities during the night for showers and use cots for sleeping during times that it would otherwise be closed. In this case, volunteers would serve the purpose of set up and clean up each evening. I feel we all have so much more to give our communities – especially those in need and need to find the easiest ways to get funding into as many services as possible to accommodate the immediate needs. Our text mentions the resistance of having group homes established in communities, but I don’t believe that that would be the majority response in most cities, it must be a stat form a less urban area.

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