The Explosion of Homelessness and How it Relates to Fatherhood

What’s up guys, welcome to another Five Minute Fatherhood. So, Jeff and I love to look at some current events through the lens of this whole breakdown in the family being a team. And one of the ones that a lot of people are experiencing right now is the absolute explosion of homelessness happening. West coast cities are being absolutely taken over by this problem. Forbes just wrote an article that said the 44,000 people living, eating, defecating in the streets of LA have brought rats and medieval diseases, including typhus. Garbage is everywhere. Experts fear the return of cholera and leprosy. I mean, this is crazy in western American cities where we’re seeing these horrible diseases creep back, that we thought we got rid of it in the Middle Ages.

And so when you think about, what in the world’s happening, why are there so many more homeless people? And so many of them are men that are homeless. And so the Washington Times did some research on this and it was really fascinating what they said about the root cause of some of the explosion here. He says, “As I spent time meeting and speaking with these homeless fathers, I was awakened to the fact that this tsunami of father absence is going to have a second wave. Millions upon millions of fathers are going to grow old on the streets or in isolated homes with no connection to their children and the social safety net that these connections provide. Alas, these fathers have broken the social contract with their children that says, I will care for you when you are young and you will care for me when I am old, because these fathers weren’t there for their children, their children won’t be there for them either.”

And so that’s what’s happening, you guys, is that a lot of these men who are on the streets of these western cities are fathers. They have children, but they abandoned their kids when the father was young and they weren’t there for them. And so their children now aren’t going to be able to provide or be there for them. And they’re struggling in health, struggling with addictions, struggling in their old age.

And so one of the things that we’re not really absorbing as a culture is what happens when you destroy the family in this way or where you don’t think about family as a team. There are so many external costs that don’t come until the next generation or 10 or 20 years later. And this particular external cost of the fact that people are now growing old without the safety net of their children providing for them because they abandoned their own kids when they were young, is going to become worse and worse problem. And we’re going to see in the next few decades, how badly this particular problem is going to create for our culture. But yeah, Jeff, what are your thoughts on this?

I mean, I don’t have much more to add to that one, except the fact that I think, yeah, I think we don’t realize homelessness is an epidemic in the west and it is in major cities, in populous areas and it’s brutal, right? And it’s brutal and it wreaks devastation on so many different layers. But I what we need to realize is homelessness and the epidemic level of it is really just collateral damage of our vision of life, right? It is the collateral damage of the western individual ideal that there’s nothing to hold people who tend to fall through the cracks either because of mental illness, hardship, some type of job, whatever.

And I’d be fascinated to see if there could be some really good comparison to see how many of those people wouldn’t fall through the cracks based on a stronger family, or stronger support system, stronger neighborhood, stronger community. But it does start certainly in the home with that abandonment of a father’s heart. And then what that does, which is crazy, like you said, then is a cycle that goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, which is really interesting, and then repeats. So I think, yeah, I think just being mindful of that and understanding that and really understanding the big implications.

And you guys, one of the reason why we want to talk about this here is because as I was even researching this, 99 out of a hundred articles will never mention anything about family or fatherhood in any of them. So the reason why it’s important to talk about this, you guys, is that it seems to be a root cause, the breakdown of the family, or what’s going on between the social contract between fathers and children, but the culture won’t talk about it. The culture will only talk about how do we help homeless people? They won’t get down to the root, because they do not want to face what happens to individual freedom when you begin to elevate the importance of family stuff. So we want to make sure that this is articulated for you guys, as you think about some of these big, systemic, societal issues.

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