The 'New Homeless'

The era of the old, dirty homeless man is a thing of the past. The 'New Homeless' are your neighbors, co-workers, family and friends. They are the person you see at your laundry mat doing laundry while reading a library book. They are the family in the car next to you who you think are moving because of all the stuff in their car. They are the clean people on your freeway exit with the look of desperation and humiliation in their eyes. The 'New Homeless' are everyone.

Sadly, there is a misconception about the homeless in our society, that they're just lazy and that's why they're in this situation. For a small percentage of the population, that's probably true. Others have dependency or mental health issues, and some are just too far gone to accept help. But, a large number of the people on the streets do not wish to be there. Due to any number of reasons, be it layoffs or medical bills, they could no longer make rent and had nowhere else to go.

In 2006, I met a homeless man who told me of his struggles trying to get off of the streets with the broken systems in place to help the homeless and how they just weren't meeting his needs, though he was trying diligently to get into a better situation. He had posted an ad on Craigslist asking for job interview clothes.

We met and I bought him some clothes at a thrift store and got him a haircut. He was so moved by this simple kindness that he teared up as he gave me a big hug. So many people ignore you when you're homeless, he said. I went on to take him to a few job interviews and bought him a prepaid cell phone. He found work and became self-sufficient again relatively soon after that, but it was a drain on me, financially and time-wise.

It was during this time that I came up a program to help more people like him, without hurting myself in the process. The program is called Quantum Reaction, and here's how it works:

4 stable people help the 5th person to become stable by assisting with food, shelter, phone, transportation, etc. Once that person is stable, they join the team and....
5 stable people help the 6th person until they're stable, then they join the team and..
6 stable people help the 7th...
7 stable people help the 8th...

When the 8th person becomes stable, they break off into two teams and begin again. This makes the growth of Quantum Reaction EXPONENTIAL! This is how we can all but end homelessness in this country in the next twenty years. Quantum Reaction is the solution we've been looking for and the best part is that anyone, anywhere, can help.

If you're interested in details on starting a Quantum Reaction program in your city, please contact me asap through the Quantum Reaction page on Facebook.
Article Author Alexandra Pauley.

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