Recently, I’ve learned and have accepted that until I feel safe…
(not at-risk of being homeless; being able to pay my own bills; being able to eat regularly)
it will be more difficult to do and to learn the things that will lead into independent living.
That’s definitely true for people who have Asperger’s Syndrome / are on the autism spectrum.
That’s also, to an extent, true for neuro-typicals (people who aren’t on the autism spectrum), too.
Many homeless individuals would fare better, if they were taken out of what’s called DEFENSE MODE.
I’m not faulting people who have never experienced homelessness. Yay, for you! You’re able to hold a job, manage your money (well enough, apparently), and pay your bills.
But… until you’ve been homeless (even worse, street-homeless), you may not be aware of the challenges that are faced.
Basic self-care, especially if you’re on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, can be very difficult – when you’re in a homeless shelter or on the streets.
When you’re autistic (but high-functioning enough that people forget that you’re also low-functioning) and homeless, “simply” asking a homeless-shelter’s employee for your today’s-bath-towel and soap can be challenging.
When you get people (autistic or not) out of defense mode, they’re more able to learn more advanced social skills, job / interview skills, and organization skills.
I think this blog post kind of sucks, but my point is…
if you want the homeless community (autistic or not) to be more able to learn and do what it takes to become productive citizens, please don’t trap them into a situation that is difficult to rise out of.
Homeless shelters / organizations: “Here’s your bath towel, soap, and toothbrush. We expect you to have a job, hold that job, manage your own money, and find adequate housing, in the next 2 weeks.”
Some add, “…also, attend all of your mental health appointments, go to counseling, and follow up with other assistance.”
I think I’m mostly coming from an Aspie-point-of-view of homelessness, but … REALLY??!
If I were able to do all of that, I wouldn’t be homeless!!!
I know that this blog post is a mess. My brain is currently a mess.