About two weeks ago, I wrote about the The Homeless Awareness Hunt, created by Joshuan Banx.
In our initial talks to set up that first article, Joshuan and I talked in-depth about some salient points regarding homelessness, mental illness, and his development of the hunt and the Mental Health Awareness Retreat.
Check out what was said below (chat has been edited to provide continuity throughout)!
Banx: The goal [of the hunt] is to help educate people on homelessness, especially in correlation to mental health illnesses. We will also be having an exhibition throughout the month of the hunt.
Me: Now that is AWESOME. I didn’t know about the exhibition.
Banx: It will help educate people about myths and truths on homelessness. For example, most people think homeless people would not be on a computer. They find it shocking. In reality, many people who are homeless find ways to get to a computer and have all the technology ordinary people have just to not feel less… for example, going to libraries, borrowing friends pc and so on.
Me: They can get to computers; that’s a no-brainer for many of them.
Banx: Or they think most people look poor, but yet many try to disguise their looks by wearing good thrift shop or hand-me-downs and mix in with the rest of the population who is not homeless. You will find the exhibit on the first LM along with a gift to the next store. There will also be resources to where to reach out, information on who ends up homeless and why, and also where people can donate if they wanted to directly.
Me: NICE. Dig that. This will definitely help to kill a lot of the assumptions people have about the homeless. People, I know, would be amazed at the WHO.
Banx: A lot of people with mental illnesses unfortunately have the least resources, even from healthy people. This society still sees those with mental illnesses as lazy, crazy, and not worthy to bother with.
Me: We don’t do enough to assist those with mental illnesses as is, homeless or no.
Banx: Yes, so true. So it’s a big correlation to homeless and mental health illness, and that will also be addressed among other things that lead to homelessness. We will also have group discussions on Saturdays at 1 p.m. SLT.
Me: The Saturdays during the hunt?
Banx: Yes, the topics will be in regards to homelessness and its correlation to mental health, open floor to share your experiences, and other topics related to the homelessness, throughout that month. The end of the hunt is the best part, LOL. We will have a sleep out. Basically everyone is invited to sleep in a cardboard box or sleeping bag on the land.
Banx: And other events are still in the works, but we will sure try to raise as much awareness as we can. People don’t think it can happen to them, but just a simple fire can make that happen. Most people never dreamed of it and with this economy, it’s worth raising awareness.
Me: A fire, a loss of a job.
Me: Shoot, there are people now WITH jobs that are homeless because they don’t make enough and can’t get assistance.
Banx: Yes! So true. The rent is more than a job pays.
Me: Yeah and it becomes, well, at least i can eat… but have to find a place to sleep.
Banx: Yep, so true. They have real numbers calculated for the states by the mayor and they say that right now unless more than two people live in an apartment, they are most likely to see homelessness due to the rent being so high.
Me: I believe this. I’m an instructor at a university, and when I moved back home, I lived with my brothers because it was easier on us. Hard to live in a space alone.
To learn more about The Homeless Awareness Hunt, check out my blog post about it. There are about two more weeks left to the hunt, so there is enough time to check out the wonderful exhibit, learn more about homelessness, its correlation with mental illnesses, and its impact on society, and to partake in the activities Banx has put together! This is definitely a worthwhile event in-world that more people should be a part of. BE one of those people. Check it out today.