In this episode, I speak with Jared Klickstein, an ex-addict who recently published an article called, "The Secret To Ending Homelessness"
Just a fantastic interview, Meghan. Authoritative (again, the good kind), corroborative, and stunning to hear Jered talk about his self worth before, during addiction and homelessness, and now. So much respect for this gent.
I had to listen twice, just to make sure I understood. The irony is not lost on me that despite worsening 'homelessness' problems in our cities, it's rare to hear--in LONG, UNINTERRUPTED form--from an actual homeless person. (See Jered's article about rising homelessness in the US)
My favorite part gave me insight not discoverable elsewhere. At 00:53:30 you ask Jered, "What do you think are the most common misunderstandings about addiction?" His response had to do with the victim mentality among addicts: "...but, being a victim doesn't mean you can just be a piece of s**t. You know. It's like, sure, in some way you were victimized, taken advantage of. But it's time to fix your s**t. It's time to not be a complete drain on society and have some responsibility for yourself." (It's important to note that Jared was not just shaking a condemning finger at addicts here; he spends much of his time in this interview arguing that addicts need help to arrive at just the introspective decision point he's discussing in the quote above."
What's impressive about this exchange is that he didn't answer your question by talking ABOUT addicts to others who aren't addicts, which is what it seems you expected. His answer was directed TO addicts about a mindset he thinks is common among them. It's a courageous perspective and a comment that reveals a leadership instinct on his part. Even more, he's able to strike a useful balance between advocating for helping-hand social programs and calling for personal responsibility...an equilibrium that's missing in just about every social justice discussion there is today.
This is why I love Substack and similar services. It isn't like I'm going to get such candor and un-curated discussion around a contentious topic with my $4 subscription to The Washington Post.
Meghan, thank you for finding Jared! He is a much needed voice in the wilderness of homelessness policy. I loved this interview!