Mason Soiza pledges 1000 hours a year to aiding homeless population
UNITED KINGDOM – It’s estimated that one in every two hundred people in England is homeless. This figure is thought to be conservative but still shocking due to the national government pegging the number at far lower. The reasons, from expensive services to high cost of housing in major city centers where jobs are plentiful as well as a perpetually increasing competitive market leaves many by the wayside in the name of “progress”. It’s become apparent, that it’s up to regular citizens to make a difference by throwing in their two cents both in the conversation as well as far as using their resources to offset some of the damage the crisis is causing.
With a large part of the population living in poverty and jobs becoming more difficult to get overtime, the crisis of homelessness will only grow in the coming years.
Mason Soiza, an English philanthropist and entrepreneur, have decided to take up the challenge of doing everything in his power to combat the issue. “All too often, the homeless are blamed for their situation. While in some cases that may be true, blaming a victim for mistakes isn’t the way to go. All it does is exacerbate the problem and make having a realistic dialogue impossible. In any case, it’s not just about addressing the effects, but the source itself”.
Mason Soiza’s plan is one that is based on a three-prong approach.
The first is stemming the bleeding. If the crisis of homelessness is an open wound, the bleeding is representative of the immediate need for action. It is to safely house the large population of homeless. Meaning, in any season, not just the crisis months of winter and early spring that are most dangerous to them. It requires finding alternative housing solutions. That is both temporary and long-term, based on the situation of the individual or group that is being housed.
One of the biggest limitations for the homeless is that to receive bank services or some sense of stability. Making the most of what funds they do have by purchasing groceries, getting proper rest etc., it requires an address.
Second, is addressing the lack of opportunity and training resources for the homeless extending beyond just job placement. Many suffer from a lack of transferable skill sets that make them hireable. It would mean setting up online resources as well as local mentorship programs. The direct connection between low-income families/individuals and those that are willing to donate their time and resources to help them get back on their feet. The third is counseling, it means finding psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors willing to spend time helping those that are homeless as a result of mental illness find a sense of internal stability.
Mental illness is a large influence on how high the homeless population of a given area is. Dealing with PTSD, BPD, and other disorders should never be something that one has to deal with alone. Many who do suffer the consequences after especially rough episodes.
Mason Soiza believes that the biggest resource required is not only funds but time. He’s charged himself with the task of committing 1000 hours of his time a year to this. Working directly with others and raising a total of 1,000,000 manpower hours within three to five years. He will be launching an incentive program to get the ball rolling. Rewarding those that go above and beyond with volunteering their resources and time. It is a major first step to building a base for what he aims to achieve. As he fleshes out his exact measurable goals over a reasonable time span, he looks towards where other organizations have succeeded as well as failed.
“When government fails to help, to provide the care that many need, it’s up to us to make a difference,” Mason says. In his opinion, that means doing more than just donating the occasional buck or two, and here is where he believes it can all start.