(Re)Define "Independence"


According to the Oxford definition, "independence" is defined as "the fact or state of being independent."


The question then is fact or state of being independent from what? From whom? How is independence actually measured?


Even as adults, our "independence" is regularly in question, especially with nation being currently so divided.


What I do know is I got a message today from one of our partners about a 19 year old kid who just got out of the hospital and needs short-term housing. The kid didn't NEED to be there -- that's just where he got placed. Now, has almost 0 options.


We as a society will not be "independent" from the homelessness crisis and will not be free from the effects of it until the approach is shifted from "shove people wherever we can fit them, or not" to getting people what they actually need: education, decompression, mental health, financial literacy, self-autonomy, actual housing and personal responsibility.


We can re-define not only homelessness but independence itself in the next 10 years.


The city of Chicago is bleeding out money on antiquated approaches (see UIC independent study here https://allchicago.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Case_Statement-2.pdf) when it is in our entire populations best interest to solve it.


The solution is simple. Not easy, but simple.


As some of us celebrate this weekend, and some of us boycott, please be safe. Love yourself and those around you a little more just because You Matter.


Love you all,

UMATT3R TEAM




#UMATT3R #WHYUMATT3R


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