It’s been a busy week aboard the USS Zamora. My crew has been diligently working on various projects for Starfleet academy (school). I don’t remember having such a heavy workload during my time at the academy. In order to help alleviate my crew’s stress, I have played a more active role in ensuring that my crew has ample shore leave when they aren’t attending classes.
I’ve been spending a lot of time flying around the quadrant taking part in various interviews centered around the issue of homelessness. Additionally, it was the main topic of conversation at the political symposiums I’ve been attending regularly. Its hard not to notice the increase in escape pods (tents) in the sector. I believe that most captains would prefer that no one had to reside in interstellar space (on the streets). Still, there is a lot of disagreement about the causation of homelessness and how to best solve it.
Some captains seem to believe that homelessness is a personal failing on the part of the individual. They attribute negative traits to the homeless such as mental health issues, drug use and complacency as the main cause for their malaise. Though it is true that many of the homeless are suffering from those issues, it is my position that the primary cause of homelessness is attributable to larger systemic issues within the Federation. Soaring housing prices, inflation, an educational system that doesn’t teach pragmatic skills, corporate ownership of houses, an inadequate social safety net…homelessness is a symptom of a broken society. It isn’t that we lack the resources to help, it’s that we have let psychopaths run our economy and dictate to us what is important.
If it were up to me, there would be a lot more land allocated for permanent low-cost housing structures, a comprehensive program that rewarded progress with cash, a no-cost facility that provided mental health services and a heavily structured program for the frequently homeless/severely mentally disordered. Alas, I don’t have much sway within the Federation. Thus, I’m hoping to join an organization that isn’t just treating the symptoms of homelessness but is moving people from streets into homes.
Aside from my conversations about homelessness, I’ve begun to spend time assisting Retired Admiral Ellen. The former admiral lives in an independent living space station and I’ve agreed to help her from time to time. Saturday was my first time taking care of an elder and it’s quite a humbling experience.
Sometimes I bemoan the small injustices of life but working with Ellen has helped put things into perspective. I forget sometimes how blessed I am to be able to do things such as move about freely, to live without pain and not be dependent on someone else for something as simple as getting dressed. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that I need to really acknowledge that which I already have.