It was over five years ago when I first started doing Fundraising events for Breast Cancer. I am so AMAZED and thankful that it has received so much press. So many people have stepped up to support it. It seems you can't go anywhere now, without seeing the PINK ribbon/logo on our products, the NFL wearing pink, and Celebrities showing their support. It IS such a huge blessing.
My prayer is that, we will eventually have that same support for the homeless living on our streets, in America. This year has been tough, with rising unemployment and rising utility prices. More people than ever are being forced out of their homes and onto the streets.
I can sit here and give you all the statistics. I can tell you how many people are living on our streets, their background, or post pictures of them. But I think ,we have somewhat turned a BLIND eye to it. Maybe we are just desensitized to it all and therefore it doesn't bother us anymore?!
Most of us spend more money on a cup of coffee, than what it would cost us to buy a child (living on the streets), a Happy Meal from McDonald's. I have fasted food many times in my life and I can't believe what 24 hours, without food does to your body and mind. It is almost impossible to function.
It's so sad to hear their stories of what forced them, out onto the streets. It breaks my heart when I hear a child say, that they are hungry.
With the holiday's upon us, I can't stop thinking about these kids. I can't imagine what their parents are going through, not being able to feed their children. I can't stop thinking about ALL of those that are living on our streets... cold, lost, and hungry.
I am so thankful for the Rock Stars and Celebrities that are a VOICE for our homeless and speak out on their behalf. I am also thankful ,for all of the people that volunteer, donate, and do whatever they can to help.
But, how do we get the rest of America to pull together and take care of our neighbors, our grandparents, our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, our sisters, our veterans and our children... living on OUR streets?
Can we get a Homeless Awareness Day, Week or Month?
I feel FRUSTRATED, because I don't know what to do?
I know the lines will be longer than ever this holiday season, for those in need of a warm meal. I pray that no one will be turned away!
What will it take, for us to show them that we care? To stand in unity and fight for OUR homeless, Americans?
What color do their houses need to be... to get OUR attention???
PLEASE GIVE TO OUR HOMELESS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!
John Mellancamp ~ Pink Houses
well unfortunately, homeless is NEVER a simple issue. Sometimes its the own person's choices, sometimes its bad luck, sometimes its just irresponsibility on one/some/all the parties involved. There is no real 'answer' to it, because money exists, in a physical form and to some, thats enough. Although Ive always thought, wouldnt it be more financially feisable to let the people continute to live in the home and pay what they CAN? This of course does NOT mean free, but they enter into a contract with the bank or whoever loaned them whatever and report their income and pay a percentage or whatnot. That would definately generate more money than having a derelict house just sitting there taking up space with noone living in it. Although its a dream in most places, cause the almighty dollar means more than anything to a lot of people, its just how this world has evolved.
...ps oh yeah, and I am a huge fan of breasts!...like yours :D
I dont donate to charities for the simple reason is that 80% of the money never gets to where its SUPPOSED to go..which is really pathetic...here in Saskatchewan, we donate a shitload of money to causes, yet...it continues to happen...its very sickening. The gesture is awesome, FTW, yet, I hate to say it but there is more money in research than the cure, so really, how many things are going to be 'cured' when so many billions of dollars have been generated in 'finding a cure'? Yeah this all sounds negative and whatnot, but its real, and sometimes 'real' isnt positive, even with the best of intentions.
Ill end this on a positive note. Lisa Marie has one of the nicest asses Ive ever seen. voila! thank you very much! bonjour!
Many people feel the same way that you do, about giving to charities and therefore choose to do nothing.
I always ask, then why not help without giving your money to a charity? There are other ways of giving, then just giving your money. I know people who have many heavy jackets in their closet that they haven't worn for years. Why not give those jackets to someone living on the street freezing?
The sad thing is that 1 out of 3 homeless are CHILDREN. They are innocent! Why do we feel we should punish all the homeless as a whole, because there may be a few that made poor choices?
Many people that get cancer is a direct cause of them smoking, but should we want to help them less than anyone else that has cancer?!
It's not about the money, it's about making a change and the first thing we need to change is our THINKING!
I like your idea about the housing and these are ways in which we can help by coming up with ideas, solutions, and being a VOICE for the homeless. ;)
Thanks for another extremely thought provoking post. I hope that at some point soon all governments wake up to the reality of people who are living a life on the streets, and do what they can to improve conditions. They *can*, of course, but they won't. Great choice of soundtrack, too. One of my favourite songs, even though I'm English! :D
This is such a beautiful and inspiring post Lisa. It's a topic so close to my heart. I'm glad that you raised funds for this cause.
Most of the time, we throw the question at the government. They should primarily be the first concerned about this. In my country, they provide housing projects for the homeless, but some choose to stay in their houses or in the streets where they could find money.
I've been reflecting on some issues for more than a week now. Somehow, I discern that being open and sensitive to them brings me to compassion. I have no concrete ideas yet on how God wishes me to do my part. But raising this awareness is of great help.
Grazie di cuore for sharing this ;)
@Casey: Thank you for reading and commenting. YES, I totally agree with you!!! Sad but true.
@Melissa: Awe, you're so welcome. I do think raising awareness helps, even if it's a little... it can become a lot. Thank you for commenting and sharing this, also. I truly appreciate it!!!
Rereading this post, too, was a good reminder, and I totally agree there is nothing simple about homelessness, nor should we ever try to simplify the truth of it; the reality of it.
I, too, have fasted time and again, and it helps not only refresh someone's perspective, it helps God do the work He needs within us.
I think Homelessness Awareness Day is a wonderful idea, Lisa Marie! Just as other things need attention, there are millions of people around the country and the world who are living in, or facing, homelessness. And being houseless has no one face. Anyone can become so at any moment for reasons they never really thought about.
Some are homeless not because of an addiction or the loss of a job, but due to the circumstances of weather, or because they went through a traumatic relational experience. Some of the women out there are houseless because it is better than being beaten or sexually assaulted on a consistent basis. Sometimes men walk away from home because they know their addictions or their anger will be fed by their environment. Sometimes medical bills pile up so much that there is no other way that they can think of to get away from all the harassing calls of bill collectors. The list or reality's reasons goes on.
Some are born into poverty, while others are born into millions and gamble it all away.
Homelessness, or houselessness, as many Portlanders like to call it, is a real issue that needs more attention. Many chronically homeless are on the street or in shelters because of things that happened to them as a child, or when they went off to war. Statistics show that for many homeless, their emotional selves got stuck somewhere in the past and they haven't been able to let go of it (part of PTSD). If the mental and emotional needs were met, and people loved on them in ways that are appropriate to the situation (passing out blankets, resource lists, taking someone for lunch or bringing them a cup of tea and listening to their story), I think life would be a lot different than it is now.
Homelessness is nothing to be afraid of, in itself, and to punish people who have fallen on hard times for one reason or another is to worsen the condition they find themselves in. YES, some people who are homeless take advantage of the situation and twist things to manipulate people, but MANY truly are looking for nothing more than a hand UP... someone to give them enough credibility and care as human being that they can become who God truly called them to be. People who will listen, who will be patient, who will set good boundaries with them, and who will really take the time to get to know them as individuals with stories and families and lives.
Thanks again, Lisa Marie... as always, a great reminder of what is important in life.
I've written about some ideas that could be helpful for those communities that are wanting to help people in houseless situations, or who are facing other, similar types of needs. Not all people who are in need are houseless, but they most certainly can get help before that may happen if they sincerely look for ways to creatively manage.
@Harmony Courtney: AMEN! Thank you for your input and the information you shared. I totally agree with all that you said. I totally appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
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