Revival and City Transformation Project
by Robert R. Rush, III
June 26th, 2021
Homelessness and the many effects that come with it (addiction, abuse, trauma, mental illness, and others) are increasingly becoming a worldwide problem of unprecedented magnitude. Social agencies, non-profits, churches, and missions have long attempted to remedy the problem by offering relief for the most pressing lower-order needs: food, clothing, and shelter. While these efforts have brought temporary relief to millions in need, they have not addressed the higher-order needs of any human being, and thus have inadvertently created a vicious cycle of repeated basic needs. Those being serviced through these facilities may get those immediate needs temporarily met, but they will remain in a position of need as their human spirits remain neglected. This study sought to develop a model of service that would include connecting these individuals with their higher-order needs or creative purposes as a part of the assistance from these programs, and as an integral part of the process. By observing, interviewing, surveying, and conducting a review of three program’s documents and practices, the study gathered data from members of this community, both leaders and workers at the facilities, as well as clients and program “graduates”. Their stories supported the initial project purpose and added supporting data to that effect. Having served in this Los Angeles community in one of the largest state agencies for over 10 years, I was allowed to capture my interviews and observations at the three participating agencies via a video documentary. The results were
conclusive: the inclusion of a transformational process that connects homeless individuals with their creative purposes, and higher-order needs into a comprehensive program model will produce permanent, long-term life transformations in the lives of homeless members.