Jamal Mechbal divulges his own deeply personal experience in his tackling homelessness speech. Contrary to popular belief, Mechbal asserts that not all homeless people fit into the stereotype; more often than not, it’s near impossible to identify if someone is homeless. Furthermore, it’s an affliction that can affect anyone, whether or not they have enjoyed a stable family background, a good education and financial success.
Mechbal himself was a college graduate who enjoyed prosperity, marriage and fatherhood. However, after the dissolution of his marriage, Mechbal began experiencing stress from his high pressure job and the rigors of being a single parent. Eventually, his financial and psychological issues overwhelmed him to the point where he couldn’t continue caring for this children, and after being evicted, Mechbal bounced from shelter to shelter, filled with strict policies, violence and uncleanliness.
It was only when Mechbal stumbled across an innovative Dutch community did his situation begin to change. It differed from a traditional "shelter" in that it was a self-run organization made by the homeless, for the homeless. It provided amenities like your own room, a shower and even a computer. With these basic needs covered, Mechbal was able to liberate himself, use his talents again and get a new perspective on his problems.
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