Anyone can complain. Almost all of us do at one time or another. Some complain more than others, and a few complain much more than they should.
Conversely, anyone can be grateful. However, more of us complain than express gratitude or appreciation for countless privileges that are easily taken for granted.
Privilege becomes more obvious after observing cultures or lifestyles that lack such privilege. Refugees from Ukraine demonstrate how difficult deprivation of a stable lifestyle is. So do the houseless within our own Community.
This article, ’40+ People Are Sharing the Signs of Privilege That Often Go Unnoticed’ by Dawn Schuster, August 12, 2021, lists several privileges that are commonly taken for granted within almost all of modern American Society. It is difficult to imagine life without some of them. Nonetheless, some within our Community presently survive without several of the most basic of these privilege. These are a few examples:
privacy or abode – Regardless of their effort, the houseless live in public. There is nothing private about it. Some live in remote areas. Some construct rudimentary structures. However, any of such abodes can be violated at any time.
running water – Although water is available to most of the houseless, it is generally inconvenient to access, or is very limited. It is not easily transported to remote locations where many houseless live. The houseless must go to the sources of water to use it, or collect what they can transport.
uninterrupted power supply – Compensation for a lack of utilities in conjunction with an unstable lifestyle is not as easy as it might seem to be. Fuel for heat is expensive and cumbersome to transport for those who lack a vehicle. Because abodes lack insulation, significant volumes of such fuel are necessary. Batteries for lighting are expensive.
food and choices – Although there is generally sufficient food for the locally houseless who can not afford much, choices are rather limited. Without utilities, frozen food can not be stored for long, and cooking may not be possible.
personal transportation – A vehicle is a major expense that most of the houseless can not afford. For those who can afford a vehicle, parking without a garage or designated parking space can be quite difficult.
physical safety – The houseless are the most vulnerable of society. They are outside and exposed to the elements most of the time. While inside, their abodes generally lack the security of conventional homes.
garbage disposal – Although the houseless generate less trash than those who reside in homes, they certainly generate some. Such trash is cumbersome to remove from some of the isolated situations which some of the houseless are compelled to inhabit. Fortunately, some neighbors allow the houseless to use their dumpsters, or procure dumpsters for large encampments of the houseless.
sewage system – Although not much of a problem in smaller Communities, where business owners and even some homeowners can allow the few local unhoused to use their bathrooms, it is a major problem for more significant Communities, in which there are too many housless to accommodate.
washing machines – A washing machine would not be much use without water or electricity anyway. Laundromats are so expensive.
internet – Although available to the houseless who have use for it, the internet is not as readily available as it is for those who reside in homes. Some use it at resource centers. Some rely on libraries. Those who own laptop computers sometimes use Wi-Fi at coffee shoppes or fast food establishments.
fridge – Like a washing machine, a refrigerator is not much use without electricity. This limits the potential for the storage of food.
enough money – This is one of the primary causes of houselesness. Many people with significant resources and income lack sufficient money for rent or a mortgage.
no discrimination – Houseless people are regularly victims of discrimination. It is as if many of those who would have been racist years ago, but can not be so in modern society, discriminate against the unhoused. It is as wrong as any other form of discrimination.
no trauma – Houslessness is traumatic. In conclusion of this seemingly extensive but actually brief list, this should be obvious, and necessitates no additional explanation.