My perception of home and homelessness

A block of connected row houses.

Houses in D.C. Photo courtesy of Farragutful/Wikimedia Commons

I have a different perception of the word “home.” 

Home is a place you have to go and they have to take you in. Home is the country where you are born, the land your ancestors left for you.

We have two main types of homes: celestial homes and earthly homes. When you are alive and living on this planet, you are a part of an earthly home. And when you finish your lifetime and die, you will go to your celestial home.

Now, coming to Earth, we have some people who experience homelessness and are called “homeless,” according to the traditional definition. But this definition is now obsolete. It needs to be corrected so people will stop discriminating against people experiencing homelessness.

I had to experience homelessness to understand this. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all humans are born free and equal. Therefore, I believe the important thing to do is to make housing a universal human right for everyone.

No one should be called “homeless.” Instead, they should be called “houseless.” I plan to write a letter to Congress and the White House to request the formation of a new bill, “Bill Dovonou.” This bill will eradicate the use of the term “homeless people.” Henceforth, it would establish that people experiencing homelessness will be called “unhoused” instead of “homeless.” 

As long as we all live on this planet, we belong to the Earth. It is our earthly home. And because of this, no one should ever be considered homeless since nobody owns the Earth. We are all simply passing through here. Our legacy is all that will remain.

In my next article, I will discuss the different types of houselessness that we encounter today.

From this article onward, I will refuse to use the word “homeless.” Because too many people have used that word in the wrong way to discriminate against people.

Wherever you find yourself should be called your home and you need to treat that place as your own.

Gigi Dovonou is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.