Taking control of your life starts with a home

Control is really key for comfort…it’s good to keep in mind that the best territories have clearly defined borders and allow for some privacy. They’re low on stress and high on security…[t]erritories have rituals.

These statements from an article about staying overnight at a hotel or the homes of family or friends during holiday travel essentially speak to the second most fundamental and basic of human needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – the need for security.

We all feel comfortable and zen-out at home because our homes are our territory — it’s where we thrive because we can just be ourselves and it’s where we have control of our lives. In our homes, we can choose to be with other people or not and we can put out the things that have meaning for us and define us like photos of pets or trophies that commemorate achievements. And our homes provide us with sensory experiences that sustain and comfort us — the ones that welcome us in after a day in the world — such as scents, sounds, sights, and textures.

How true these words are – not just for those lucky enough to have money to spend on traveling and visiting family and friends, but for every person and especially so for homeless children, women and men who have so little control over their lives.

A recent report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness shows that in Richmond Va there are an estimated 9% of the population are homeless. In the Washington, Arlington, Alexandria VA area, an estimated 8% are homeless- over 13,000 people.

Let’s resolve that our state of Virginia will build more permanent supportive housing and affordable housinghousing that will give people addresses at which mail and packages can be received, kitchens to fill with the aromas of nourishing food to be shared with others, front doors that can be decorated for the holidays and secure havens to be called “home”.

This is a guest post by Yoomie Ahn. Yoomie is a former Board member of the Virginia Housing Coalition and Chair of its Legislative Committee. This blog post expresses Yoomie’s personal opinions only and does not represent the official views of the Virginia Housing Coalition, her employer or HOME.

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