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Why Housing Won’t End Homelessness

    With over seven and one-half million homes scheduled to be built in the Philippines and countless more around the globe, some people (mistakenly) believe that the issues of homelessness are already a thing of the past or at least very shortly will be. Unfortunately, the problems that lead to homelessness are often left unchecked altogether or worse yet, in many locations around the world, isolated and allowed (and even encouraged) to fester and worsen. The end-result is a cyclical progression that only serves to strengthen the bonds of poverty, desperation and hopelessness that already entraps and enslaves the underclass citizens of the world. If there is to be a long-term solution that produces permanent results, there has to be a more systemic approach that alleviates the root-causes, not any simpler solution that merely seeks to address a single issue. Such solutions often create larger concerns even worse than the problems that were responsible for the families becoming homeless in the first place. The Global Infrastructure, Development and International Finance Agency is not seeking to cure the symptoms of poverty but to eradicate it from the world entirely and to bring new, real and lasting opportunities to the underclass citizens of the world.

    Homelessness is not merely a separate and distinct issue that can be addressed in a “set-it-and-forget-it” program. It is not only impossible but also extremely foolhardy to believe that the homeless people of the world can just be dumped into a new home, left to their own devices and be expected to become productive, contributing members of society. A complete, systemic approach that tackles the root causes of the problems of homelessness is necessary if the actual problems are to be resolved. While integrated, safe and secure housing is in itself a major contribution, it does not actually resolve any issues so much as it provides the underclass families with a solid base to work from. They are still going to need the means to work and an opportunity to produce before they can become self-sustaining, much less contributing members of society. In addition to housing, the underclass citizens of the world are going to require education and training, opportunities to put their newly discovered skills to work and psychological/sociological assistance to more fully integrate into society.

    In regards to the housing for the underclass citizens of the world, there are still some additional requirements above and beyond just being safe and secure. The housing for the underclass citizens of the world must be integrated into the heart of society so that these people are made to feel like a part of that society and to diminish the potential for any of the social stigma currently attached to those people that live “there” or on the wrong side of the tracks” or even “that part of town”. No matter what areas may be highlighted or vocalized, the isolation and segregation of the poor has put them in the unenviable position of being sequestered in such a way that the very problems that put them there in the first place are exacerbated and made worse. The limited and carefully planned integration of these homes and these people into established neighborhoods and “normal” society removes any stigma as, unless people intentionally go about bragging about receiving social assistance, very few people will ever know.

    Additionally, such a living situation prevents the problems that create multi-generational instances of poverty and homelessness from gathering together and festering. No longer are large numbers of people suffering from drug addiction, alcoholism or other debilitating factors gathered together to encourage one another in these destructive behaviors. Rather, the presence of sociological/psychological assistance in cooperation with Community Programs specifically designed to address such problems can be more fully implemented with a substantially lower level of recidivism. In the early stages, the focus will be on helping primarily those families that do not have major issues or concerns with such detrimental issues in front of them but as the infrastructure is put into place, more and more assistance will become available even for those families that do suffer from issues that only serve to extend the tragedy for their families and that foment the conditions that force them to be bound in poverty. Still, all of these programs will not help in any lasting way until there is a system in place to offer them viable training so that they can enjoy the benefits of gainful employment and actually contribute back to the society as a whole.

    Education comes in many forms but the primary focus for the last few decades has generally been focused on “teaching towards the test” or teaching children what information will be on an exam and then giving exams based on that particular information. Unfortunately, and as history shows, this method of teaching is sadly lacking and far too many students are punished because they are simply incapable of learning in such a fashion. The first key is going to be a comprehensive vocational aptitude battery that can be given to adults and children alike.

    Aptitude Batteries already exist but very few are truly comprehensive. Among the best ones available are the military versions but there have been some recent developments by private organizations that have made much more comprehensive and detailed aptitude batteries available for general use. If there are any existing major concerns in this regards, it is translating everything accurately into the more limited languages and dialects of the world. While some languages such as Russian and German allow for a very precise meaning, some of the more limited languages have, by necessity and their nature, a somewhat convoluted setup and a nuance that is necessary to translate orally in order to be understood in the same context. While those challenges are substantial, they are not insurmountable.

    It is also very important that everyone entering into such a program should be tested. There is no telling where the next Einstein or Tesla may be hiding but statistically speaking, it is impossible that there are not at least a large number of geniuses and other “diamonds in the rough” among the world’s underclass citizens. Whether these people are among the children, the parents or even single adults should not be relevant. What is important is that all of the underclass citizens of the world are given an opportunity to succeed not only in fields where their aptitude batteries indicate that they are going to have a better chance of success, but in any fields wherein they feel that they can make the greatest contributions to themselves, their families and society as a whole. It should also be remembered that while a great deal of the focus on education is scholastic in nature, these programs must also include vocational training as well.

    Scholastic pursuits and the educational system both need to be revised in order to meet the changing needs of a changing world and the people of that world. In other words, continued programs whereby teaching to the test has a proven track record of failing the students should not be pursued but alternative methods of teaching and learning have to be implemented. Again, the course of action taken by the Global Infrastructure, Development and International Finance Agency is a more systemic approach including the basics of a classical education, scholastic pursuits and the inclusion of relevant vocational pursuits as well.

    Perhaps the best example of this can be found in the works and educational systems as originally established by Rudolf Steiner. These concepts have since been improved upon and refined to the point where they have been implemented as private educational institutions throughout the world. These schools do have a proven record of producing quality, well-educated students who come out much better prepared for the challenges of the world. As such, the Scholastic systems as established by the Global Infrastructure, Development and International Finance Agency shall be built on the same principles with one major difference. Traditionally, educational institutions have been forced to create a standard curriculum for the entire student body.

    These curricula are often inundated with “elective” courses that give students the illusion of some choice but in reality, the basic education is in and of itself, standard for all of the students. Again, this approach has proven itself to be flawed but yet again, steps have been made to avoid such issues and concerns in the Educational Institutions as established by GIDIFA. Work has been underway with a private foundation that has developed a means to create a unique, wholly customized curriculum for each and every individual student. This process works equally well for one student as it does for one billion students. Each and every student, no matter their age, current levels of study or any other factors that may be pertinent, will have a fully individualized educational curriculum established specifically for them based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Of course, there are still going to be those students who have difficulty learning outside of physically working and learning by a strictly hands-on approach.

    The importance of the vocational aspects of education should not be discounted at all. In fact, in many cases, hands-on, vocational training provides an ideal solution, especially for the parents and other individuals who are responsible for the provision of goods and services to their families or to others who may depend on them for support in addition to those students who may not be able to learn any other way. The paycheck is certainly an incentive for these students and especially for the people who are in a position wherein others are depending on them for support, but it is not going to happen without an actual opportunity to learn in a “real-world” environment that is already functioning as a “for profit” business venture. Thus, once again, the Integrated aspects of the GIDIFA Integrated Community Developments becomes a prime factor in the overall success of the many programs and the ultimate eradication of poverty in the world we live in.

    The Corporate Entities that have been established within the GIDIFA Integrated Community Developments will be examples of CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility for the world to follow. Their contributions to the communities, to the host nations and to the global system will be carried out in a number of different ways. Not by any means the least among these will be the provision of jobs and job-training programs for the underclass citizens of the world. While the pay rates may not start at the same levels as they would for more fully trained employees, these “real-world” classrooms will still provide sustainable jobs, invaluable experience and even an income for those students who partake in these programs. Once they are more properly and fully trained, they may be offered more full-time, better paying work within those corporations or they may seek similar work in similar corporate interests in their home nation or around the world. While potential employers may not have some fancy degree from their applicants to hang on their walls, they will be able to speak to their peers in their respective fields and learn exactly what capabilities, strengths and weaknesses the individuals possess before making any hiring decisions are made.

    While all of these aspects together are comprehensive, they are not complete. The psychological impact of homelessness, especially when it spreads across generations within a family should never be underestimated, much less dismissed and/or ignored as is currently the case in much of the world. While the degree to which it is true may be subject to debate, people are in fact a product of their environment. When two, three or even more generations of families are left out on the street to beg, it does have an incredibly negative and impact on all of the individuals within that family unit. Due to its reliance on expensive, often dangerous drugs, psychiatry is not the first choice for a solution in most of the communities. While it will be an option to a limited degree, it is not going to be the focus of the efforts of GIDIFA. Rather, teams of psychologists and sociologists will offer their services in cooperation with representatives and liaisons from Social Assistance agencies, guidance counsellors and other industry professionals to help these people make the necessary mental and psychological adjustments to be able to integrate into society and become more productive, contributing citizens.  

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Global Infrastructure, Development & International Finance Agency

    Originally established in 1994, the Global Infrastructure, Development and International Finance Agency was established as a Sovereign Entity and Specialized Agency to create and implement a more equitable method for the distribution and supply of wealth among all of the peoples of the world in accordance and compliance with the instruments set forth as International Treaties.