You are faceless. We walk by you very quickly, darting our glance away from you, intentionally not making eye contact. We don’t want to know what you look like. You might be sick, or dirty, or your appearance just might make us feel guilty.
Tag Archives: families
In Los Angeles today, those 1970s families would need to earn almost $70,000 per year just to rent an apartment. I can’t picture the Brady household – two parents, six kids, a housekeeper and dog – all living in an apartment in San Fernando Valley.
Although the needs of the people we serve have become more intensive, one thing hasn’t necessarily changed. Ironically, they often still come from middle-class America.
An empty apartment is not a home. When students go to college, their parents usually buy them bedding, cooking utensils, clothes, and food—so they can focus on their studies. When formerly homeless persons move into an apartment, just like those students starting on a new path, their home needs to be fully furnished; in turn, they can focus on looking for work and rebuilding their lives.
Single-mother families are nearly five times more likely than married-couple families to fall below the poverty line and poverty is the number-one cause of child homelessness.
Today, I wonder why America—a society that is so sophisticated, wealthy, and compassionate—doesn’t pick up its lost humanity on the streets and connect them with housing and with the community of humanity.
“Anyone can be homeless. Homelessness is like a prison without the keys. Society needs to care enough to come up with those keys.”
Over a million homeless children in the U.S. (and countless who have not been included in homeless counts) continue to experience “hard-knock” lives. They don’t need a billionaire, like Oliver Warbucks to save them. They need us to collectively unmask hidden issues and create tangible solutions that prevent and end their homelessness. It is not “their” problem to fix. It is all of ours.
With a full stomach and a thankful heart, instead, I am looking at the larger picture of homelessness in America. Whether or not you see the glass as half-full or empty, a broader view on homelessness can be confusing.