We had a client leave the other day to go live on the streets. When his manager asked why, he said that he'd been homeless for several years before coming to TLC and missed the freedom of being homeless.
He said that on the streets he could panhandle enough change to get by. He didn't have to get up at a certain time to go to work. Nobody told him what to do. No one asked him for drug tests. He could always find something to eat. When his clothes got too smelly he could always steal some more from the Salvation Army, off a clothes line, or out of a donation box. Plus he could drink and do drugs whenever he chose.
I've thought about the homeless in the past. And I know many are mentally ill and most have drug or alcohol problems. But I'm sure few of them think logically. Because if they thought about it, they'd realize they sometimes have to put out a lot of effort to eat, clothe themselves, bathe, and find enough drugs and alcohol to stay high.
I really believe that if they expended the same energy on living a normal life they would likely become quite successful. In fact, I've read of more than one billionaire who was once homeless - then decided to change.
I know I'm being too logical and oversimplifying the problem. But in America there are so many jobs available and opportunities for success, that being homeless really is a choice - rather than something that's forced upon someone.