The “Home Is” Mission
The mission of the “Home Is” project is to re-define ‘homelessness’. To begin, we must re-define the language we use. In speaking with hundreds of ‘homeless’ people, I end each interview with the question, “What does ‘home’ mean to you?” Unsurprisingly, every single interviewee has answered uniquely. Every single person finds ‘home’ somewhere – whether that’s a place, a person, a feeling, a memory, or an aspiration.
The dictionary definition of ‘homeless’ is: “without a home…”. Yet, this definition does not acknowledge the broad ranging notion of ‘home’. If the hundreds of interviews I have conducted have taught me anything, it is that ‘home’ is not just a place. To call someone ‘homeless’ is to strip them of their dignity, humanity, and identity.
There are many other terms better suited to describe the population we call ‘homeless’:
When we change the language we use, we change the image we create in our minds. This work is key if we are to make widespread and large-scale change. Let this be the starting point for the change we seek to make.