Instead of talking about putting a stop to it, doing it would be more effective. People have fallen on short times and need a helping hand, not to be put down and made fun of. Let’s face it; this has become an epidemic and a cure must be found. Getting involved with or teaming up with local churches, schools, organizations and even community leaders would be a step in the right direction. Helping those that are doing the things to provide these individuals with warm clothing, shoes, food, medical care are other alternatives. At the very least, one could simply offer some words of encouragement.
Maybe doing an event that will raise awareness for the homeless by sending out sponsor letters and donation letters to local businesses to inform them of what the cause is and why it’s needed. There is so much that can be done to help. What comes from the heart will reach the heart. Reaching out to the local city leaders can help get things moving. The more manpower there is, the more individuals that can get the help they need.
Donating items such as clothing, toiletries and food to homeless shelters, women shelters, and even youth group homes can also help a great deal. Often times most of these agencies rely on the donations from the public and volunteers to help them.
The holiday season can be a very trying time for anyone, and for someone that is on the streets, it can be extremely difficult for them. It’s cold, lonely and can cause anyone to become depressed. It could bring back many emotions on what lead them to becoming homeless.
No one wants to be in this situation. Some have lost employment, loved ones, become ill or may be a displaced veteran.
Focusing on the situation and what can be done to help is a lot better than just talking about it. Stop looking at the person in the situation, but rather focus on how the situation can be fixed.
Get involved in walks for the homeless. Learn how to serve others without causing them to feel inadequate. Take for instance Ted Williams. Back in early 2011, he had become a YouTube sensation all because of his “Golden Voice.” It was discovered that in his earlier years he’d worked as a radio announcer, but due to some very untimely circumstances he found himself on the streets battling with drug and alcohol abuse; he’d also been arrested several times for things he’d done in the community.
Another prime example! Here’s a man that had it all, a great education and served in the military and was discharged honorably after his time served. He lost everything. Could he have known that he would become homeless? Was there anything that he could do or have done to prevent it? The real point here is that homelessness can have the intended effect on the educated as well as the uneducated; it doesn’t matter about a person’s ethnic origin, age, social or financial status.
However, in today’s society many individuals believe if a person had prepared for life there’s no way that this should ever happen. Honestly they’re way off base here on this one! My question is how can a person prepare for a major loss, such as an illness, loss of employment or the loss of a family member?
Here’s another example. Remember the actress, Mya Campbell, the daughter of the author BeBe Moore Campbell from the hit television show “In the House” with L.L. Cool J? Well her story is a bit sad. She was another one that had everything and turned to a life of drugs and prostitution to support her addiction. All of this happened due to the loss of her mother. Then she hit rock bottom.
Let’s face it! The media will publicize the unfortunate lives about celebrities and how they’re battling with all of these inner demons, but right in our very own communities we turn our noses and backs on the guy or woman that’s panhandling for food. Our heavenly father is the only one that knows what, why, and when each of us will experience hardships. So with that being said all of us should extend our hands to help those in need.
If we take the time out of our busy lives and give of ourselves, as Christ has done for us, this world and our communities in which we reside in could become a better place. The late Michael Jackson said it best in his song “I’m starting with the Man in the Mirror.”
I’ve had the opportunity to share and get involved with helping the homeless and never did I think for one moment that just being in the presence of these wonderful individuals, my life would change for the better.
Being an advocate for the homeless, I must admit there’s so much that can and needs to be done for them. There are families living in cars, with neighbors, or merely sleeping on the streets not having a place to call their own. This can be a very difficult time and very dangerous. There have been studies shown that loads of homeless people are murdered and sexually abused right in our communities while living on the streets.
Basically it’s time for all the nonsense to stop - building all these new malls and bringing all these major stars to the city. Let’s not forget the money that is spent on “The Presidential Elections” when in actuality that money could be spent for places that will really help individuals get back on their feet and not harm them any further. We need programs that will assist with job skills, educational training, and housing. Just because a person is homeless doesn’t mean they’re uneducated or have lack of job skills. They may just need a place to live.
Picture it like this. There’s a brain surgeon; he’s married with a family making roughly six figures. Then tragedy strikes. Keep in mind he’s probably already in debt with loans of his own (e.g. house note, car payment, insurance, children in college the list could go on). He’s in a major accident, and basically he’s left unable to work. He’s completely wiped out of his savings, loses everything, and now the family is homeless. Where does he go and who can he turn to? There needs to be something in the community that will help him and others like him get back on the road to recovery.
All it takes is one person to make a difference in the community to impart a difference into the lives of these people; not just financially and emotionally, but spiritually. This is serious, knowing firsthand what it’s like to have it all, and in a years’ time lose it all. Have a heart for the community and people in it. Feeling obligated to give back isn’t even enough.
Being in the midst of adversity, having been talked about, put down, laughed at, and all the should’ve, could’ve, and would’ve’s --- basically nothing could’ve prepared me for the journey. Many will ask, Why did, or How come, or What happened? The answer is this thing called Life happened! I am still looking back over everything and thanking God for the experience. The experience was a lesson very well received, learning not to take things for granted.
Time is of the urgency to help. Do all that can be done to help those that are less fortunate and homeless. Go and spend time at the missions during the holidays, or even just any day talking to the ones that have been affected by this epidemic and how they manage from day to day.
You will be amazed at some of the things that are shared. It will leave an impression upon the heart. Somehow inspiration will overcome and the need to do will spring forth.
Writer Name: Danielle Taylor
Date: June 11, 2012
Photo courtesy of Lee Taylor