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Topic: Why Not “Free Range”? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132234
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I see now a trend to calling homeless people “unhoused”. Yet another attempt to address a problem by giving it a different name.
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Daniel Gillotte
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 11 October 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2584
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 5:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I think this one is trying to address a dignity issue and that being unhoused suggests a temporary state more than "homeless" does. Like all language stuff it's imperfect but I appreciate the attempt. 
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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 5458
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I can see the Onion headline:

Pepper City Homeless Rate Drops 100%

In Unrelated News The Unhoused Have Jumped 100%
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132234
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I think this one is trying to address a dignity issue…

•••

Someone force to live in a cardboard box on the street has had their dignity stripped away long ago.

This is another of those bullshit terms designed to let the people using it feel better.

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Brennan Voboril
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 15 January 2011
Posts: 1734
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Here in my town the jail has started calling inmates "occupants" instead.  Weird. 
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Fred J Chamberlain
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 August 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4018
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 9:11pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Another ridiculous move to try and sterilize situations, in
order to step away from the outrage that naturally comes
with these situations.
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Daniel Gillotte
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 11 October 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2584
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 9:17pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I don't know- I think the people who are trying to use this term are also the ones advocating and working to end homelessness or the problem of unhoused people. I don't think that they're doing it to soften the impetus to change the problem.
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Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1646
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 9:21pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

How about Home-a-phobic?
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Fred J Chamberlain
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 August 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4018
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 9:49pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Daniel, they are not doing them any favors with incessantly changing the
name of what it is. Least problematic is that it’s distracting.

I am a therapist and I remember having a conversation with a friend, who
used a newer term for mentally handicapped. Not sure that it was
“handicapable “ or some other term. We talked about it for 20 minutes,
before I threw up my hands over it. The final focus was her inability to
acknowledge that this population was functioning with deficits. That isn’t a
bad statement, it’s truth. Denying or white-washing it only provides those
not in support of these populations, but oftentimes minimizes their plight.
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Michael Murphy
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 06 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 339
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 11:14pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

As time goes on the words that are used to describe things sometimes end up with negative connotations over time. Trying to change that is sometimes fine and sometimes it's an overreaction.

I have no personal experience with homelessness but, anecdotally, my younger brother was a teacher and later an administrator for a school that, as I understand it, dealt exclusively with students who had problems at other schools, usually related to their behavior. The reason behind these students issues were varied but a portion were homeless and just didn't go to school because they couldn't bathe or clean their clothes. One thing my brother noticed was being homeless and being called that usually embarrassed the children and parents. His goal was to keep the kids in school and get them back into the normal school system so he stopped calling them homeless (at least to them) because embarrassing them wasn't helpful to his goal.

I have no idea if he used different phrasing or just avoided the word but there was no white-washing or denying the situation involved. He just was doing what he could to try to keep the kids in school.

Context matters. 


Edited by Michael Murphy on 23 February 2024 at 11:16pm
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Mitch Denoyer
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2006
Posts: 131
Posted: 23 February 2024 at 11:42pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

This thread reminds me of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which Troy temporarily loses her empathic ability.  Trying to be helpful, Riker suggests that maybe her other senses will sharpen to make up for her lost empathy.  Troy sharply replies that that idea is an old falsehood created by the ablebodied to make themselves feel better about the plight of the disabled.  Ouch! That show had some good writing.
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 4495
Posted: 24 February 2024 at 12:40am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

A van down by the river is a kind of housing, but also a kind of home I suppose.

We live in an age of micro unit apartments, something that used to be only found in Tokyo.
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