You don’t have to be in downtown Spokane very long to know that there’s homelessness, but what gets hidden behind the stereotype is a hurting section of the city: homeless youth.
All types of causes are plastered all over Facebook and other social networking sites, and the month of November is even set aside as “National Homeless Youth Awareness Month” (Stepping Stones News).
However, without personally interacting with homeless youth, like a friend of mine does, I had no idea that a system that worked for helping frequently intoxicated homeless persons, which includes a portion of the youth population, was shut down in Spokane.
What I am referring to is wet houses. I found it interesting that a study in Time magazine shows that “residents who are allowed to drink actually drink less” (“The Wet House: Homeless People with Alcoholism Drink Less When Booze Is Allowed”). It makes sense. Meeting people where they’re at instead of trying to “fix” their addiction problem before offering shelter assistance perhaps is a more gracious method.
Should we or should we not allow for those who need help the most to work through a system on their own terms? Something to think about.