Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

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Pretreatment In Action – Pandemic and the Homeless in America

Jay S. Levy is known for his precious research and publications in the field of homeless outreach. His latest book Pretreatment In Action: Interactive Exploration from Homelessness to Housing Stabilization has come out this month, published by the Loving Healing Press. As the title tells, it is focused on pretreatment.

From NewsBlazePretreatment In Action is set up in a workbook style that teaches 5 principles of a Pretreatment Model through their application to real-life scenarios that depict the world of homelessness, trauma, and loss.

Pretreatment In Action also touches on an important question: how things have changed for the homeless in America changed – for better or worse – during this nearly 2 year long pandemic. The answer is in an excerpt from the conclusion of the book.

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Through our outreach lens we see firsthand the unhealthy and at times deadly consequences of living in harsh and unsafe environments. Yet, through this public health crisis, our sense of normalcy has unraveled, bringing forth the opportunity to do things differently and with greater compassion.

Public Health policy has dictated that people sleeping rough should be offered extended motel/hotel stays to help stem the spread of the Pandemic, as opposed to letting people overcrowd our shelters. Policy makers finally had to face the fact that “business as usual” during COVID includes people without homes roaming about their cities and towns without access to indoor resources such as meal programs, cafes, libraries, or even bathrooms. Fortunately, the new policy of providing people sleeping rough quick access to motels/hotels with support services has gone into effect throughout Western MA, as well as throughout many, though not all, cities and towns across the US and UK. The change in policy has brought about a new dawn of multi-agency efforts to offer resources to our many unaffiliated hotel/motel guests, as well as to place folks as rapidly as possible into affordable housing units with support services. As a result, we have not only seen a low spread of COVID among a homeless and vulnerable population in Western MA, but we have also dramatically reduced the number of people sleeping rough. Let’s hope that the lessons learned from this crisis result in long-term policy changes, which include viewing the issue of homelessness, and in particular people sleeping rough, through a public health lens that demands immediate action.

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Jay lives in Western MA with his wife, Louise, who teaches science at a local high school. His two children, Talia and Sara, have both graduated college and have begun their initial journeys into career-related activities. More information on Jay and his work can be found at www.jayslevy.com.

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