The United States is riddled with a variety of social problems. These problems have been created by the stinginess of politicians and CEOs who control our country and a law that refuses to recognize everyday realities. The number of people living in poverty increases everyday, as do the number of homeless individuals.
Estimates indicate there are at least 3,500,000 homeless individuals. This means that (at least) roughly 1 out of every 100 individuals in the United States have no place to sleep and little or no money.
We see homeless people on the streets asking for food, money, or a job everyday in big and small cities across the nation.
What do you do when you see them?
Do you lock the doors, look away, and drive off quickly? Why? The stereotypes we have of the homeless are just that. Being homeless is certainly not a choice.
We can all do one very simple, low-cost thing to help these homeless individuals on the street: Keep a bottle of water and a pack of crackers, maybe an apple too, in some sort of plastic bag in your car. When you’re at a red light and you see someone with a sign or standing along the street, roll your window down, say here you go, and be on your way.
I did this for one of the first times the other day (the first time I was by myself). It was 35-something outside, very cold, raining, and just nasty in general outside. I saw a man sitting out in the rain with a sign. I couldn’t read it until he got closer (it said small cash please). I rolled my window down and said do you want some crackers. (I had some crackers with me in case I got hungry while meeting with students.) His face light up, and he ran over to the car and said thank you. The light was green, and I was on my way. Homeless people are just regular people.
And if we were truly a “civilized” country, we would give these people a house. There are enough empty houses in the nation to give each homeless person at least 6 houses. And I know they would be more happy with one.
Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives