These numbers are staggering and demand action. We need to stand together and do something..
The experience of being in the midst of this crisis is humbling. It’s hard to imagine the stories behind some of the victims of this epidemic. Too many bystanders sit back and decide that these people are failures in life because of their situation. It is too easy to pass judgment on them until we have walked in their shoes, learn their stories and attempt to gain an inkling of what their lives are, and have been, like.
Imagine the single mom who has worked hard her entire adult life to provide for her family. Suddenly, due to the economic crisis or events beyond her control, she loses her job unexpectedly. Now, imagine this woman, who has never utilized or taken from the system, making every effort to get help – only to have door after door slammed in her face.
Day by day everything she has worked for begins to disappear. Her savings, her resources, her home, her belongs, her self esteem, and eventually even her will to live through another day.
She’s forced to look into the eyes of her children and tell them that tonight they have to share this sandwich or even worse, they can’t eat at all. This isn’t a woman that has lived her life trying to abuse the system. She’s done everything expected of her, yet when she faces those in connection to the system, they look upon her poorly and treat her like she is a failure. Imagine going to seek help from government agencies and being denied because you don’t have a residence or you don’t have the ‘necessary documents’ to obtain one. It’s a catch 22.
You can’t imagine the number of people living this same story.
Homelessness is a wide spread occurrence that is seldom talked about and is reaching “epidemic” status. It is rarely addressed in main stream media, is shunned in social circles, and, quite frankly, is a truly scary topic in general – because there are many of us who are one paycheck away from this very situation. We tell ourselves that the problem is “too big” and we alleviate our fears and (possible) guilt of inaction with “how can one person possibly make a difference?”
Individually, there is little or nothing that can be done on an “elimination” basis. It takes a “movement”; which starts with one individual, who is joined by another, and another, and another.
We can no longer ignore or push out of our minds this heartbreaking & forgotten aspect of our fellow human beings. We need to unite in our compassion and humanitarian efforts to address and help alleviate the suffering and circumstance of Homelessness by thinking “joint effort”.
We need to ask ourselves,”What can I do to help?”