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Homelessness, Mental Health, and How We Failed Jordan Neely
My conversation with Terence Lester about this preventable, lamentable killing.
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Jordan Neely used to dress up and do Michael Jackson impersonations. But on May 1, 2023, a Marine veteran on a subway train put him in a chokehold that led to his death. Neely had allegedly been shouting on the train about how he was thirsty, hungry, and tired of his situation.
Neely should not have been killed. He suffered from homelessness and mental illness and the system failed him, we failed him, long before the day of his death.
In this episode, Dr. Terence Lester joins me. Dr. Lester is the founder of Love Beyond Walls. He is the author most recently of All God’s Children: How Confronting Buried History Can Build Racial Solidarity. Dr. Lester has also experienced being homeless.
We talk about why attacks against the houseless population should be classified as hate crimes, why we need better mental health care for this group, and how to have meaningful proximity to people who are unhoused.
Feel free to share some of the quotes below.
“We treat people who are unhoused as problems instead of people who are going through problems.” ~ Terence Lester, PhD
“Distance is the enemy of belonging.” ~ Terence Lester, PhD
“There is a home that is intangible…The home where you feel seen, where you belong, where you feel accepted. ~ Terence Lester, PhD
“I want to create the type of world where feel like they belong and it’s not based on their class, their socioeconomic status, their mental health state, if they’re addicted to a substance.
I want to create the type of world where God’s love is accessible to all. ~ Terence Lester, PhD
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