UNITED STATES—I have to applaud musician and actress Miley Cyrus because what she did Sunday at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards was shed light on an issue in America: homelessness. Homelessness is very bad, but in some cases it’s even worse for the teenagers and children. We don’t always hear about these stories, but they are indeed out there.
At first I was thinking, what type of stunt is Cyrus going to pull at this year’s ceremony? I mean she left tongues wagging at the 2013 ceremony, so was she aiming to top what was done in the past? Nope, she was looking for redemption if you ask me, but also to get people talking about an issue. Everyone in the audience looked a bit stunned for a second, but when Jesse began speaking it became apparent there was complete silence in the room, all eyes was focused on him and what he was reading.
As he began to tell his story, it became apparent it struck a few chords with the viewers and the celebrities in the room; their eyes was glued on this teen, talking about battling homelessness, having dreams and aspirations like all the people in the room, how he’s probably worked for most of them, and they had no idea of it. We do become blind to things at times, which is a shame.
We’re so wrapped up in our lives, and complaining about how bad things are, when in all truth are lives are not that bad at all. They could be far worse. I can’t even imagine the idea of having to think about where I’m going to lay my head each night, finding a place where I think I’ll be ‘safe’ sleeping, worrying about food, the list goes on and on.
It might be feasible for adults to survive, but it’s a daunting task for a teenager. They may not have all the skills or be aware of who they can or cannot trust to ensure they survive. Some environments are a bit easier to live in for a homeless teen, others not so much; a warm climate is easier to survive in than a climate where the weather is excessively cold or hot.
To add onto that stress we hear stories time and time again about celebrities who have gone from zero to hero. We get these figments of what homeless is, but we never see the actual ‘face’ of homelessness.
One mistake so many people make is the perception of what a homeless person looks like. All homeless individuals are not dirty, they don’t wear clothing that is shredded or ripped. The face of homeless can look just like you and me; you can’t judge a book by its cover which is the point of this conversation. We all need to take more steps to eradicating social issues that are greatly impacting our society. Time and time again we turn a blind eye to things that we shouldn’t. If we have the opportunity to help fight against a cause, then why not aim to do so?
I was just thinking about the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, thinking about how much money and awareness has been raised for the disease because of Americans making videos of the challenge and uploading them to the social media network.
What if someone came up with a similar challenge or idea to combat not just teen homelessness, but homelessness in general in America? Think of what we can do with those funds to truly help those people in need, who may not be asking for it, but needs some form of assistance to make their lives better, to live the fullest potential possible for them. All it takes is one person to implement change, how about we start a trend to fighting homelessness throughout America and then transition that cause overseas. It’s not impossible, we just have to be willing to see the problem and address it.
By Trevor Roberts