Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HuffPo on Korea's homeless

The Huffington Post has an interesting piece on the challenges faced by the homeless in Seoul, along with some efforts by the homeless themselves to help each other.

An excerpt:
I recently had the privilege of visiting Seoul, South Korea. As part of my trip, I talked to several homeless organizations. One of the homeless men I met with was Mr. Lee. In 1997 he lost his job when the company he worked for (making clothes for school kids) was replaced by a bigger company.

He was homeless for 10 years. Then he fell and ended up in a hospital. When he left the hospital a local civic organization helped him. He repaid their help by agreeing to volunteer. He organized a homeless group of six men. These men simply reached out to other homeless people to talk. They offered no services. They simply asked people what they needed.
In his conversations, he learned that welfare was being cut. There was not enough money to help people. Mr. Lee learned that homeless people lacked any savings and could not get bank credit. So he and his group of six decided to start a bank cooperative and offer their own social services.

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