UNITED STATES—There is a huge epidemic inAmericaright now, the number of homeless people on the streets continues to grow. It hurts my soul to see a person, particularly children who have no place to sleep at night. In a country where we have some of the wealthiest people in the world, we should take more of an initiative to tackle this issue. Rather it’s us building shelters to accommodate those in need or if it’s delivering food, we have to do our part.
For those who are homeless in regions that have warmer climates the nights are not so bad, but for those who live in regions where the cold winter months can be brutal; more than a few hours outside can be deadly. Providing the homeless with winter coats, socks, gloves, boots, hats and all the amenities to keep warm during cold temperatures can be a help. People have this misconception that people on the streets choose to be homeless, but that’s not the case.
Homelessness is something that can strike each and every one of us. Most people lose their job and from that job loss choices are made between what are needs and necessities. Having to choose between feeding your children and keeping on the lights can be a difficult decision to make. As funds begin to dwindle, mortgage payments or rent may go unpaid, ultimately leading to an eviction notice.
No one ever plans to be homeless so when people make that statement it’s annoying. Do not judge someone because your situation is a little better than theirs. Step into their shoes for a day or two, and you’ll discover how difficult it can be to survive on the streets with no one to rely on but yourself. To see people turn their nose when they encounter a homeless person or decide not to give any spare change sends a strong message about Americans; some of us our just cold-hearted.
However, that does not apply to everyone. I encounter a homeless person at least 3-4 times a week and each time I give at least a dollar or two. Could I use the dollar, probably, but my thinking is that person needs it even more. Do I care what the person chooses to do with the dollar? No. You cannot control what they choose to do with the money once given to them; all you can do is give from the kindness of your heart.
For those of us that have the disposable income and resources to help others we should. Sometimes it doesn’t require a lot, but if each person did their part we can build shelters throughout all the major cities in the United States to ensure that those living on the streets have a place to lay their head. We can gather food to provide to those in need, as well as clothing and other essentials needed by all people. This is America, its time to take action to halt something that is growing out of control.
By LaDale Anderson