Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ending homelessness

As I wrote here yesterday, homelessness is not something new.  It is something we all can help with though.  If we all work at it, I think we can actually find an end, but we have to all work together.
There are 633,782 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States.  That is a huge number!  The reason why someone is out on the streets certainly varies from individual to individual.  The eviction of  tenants unable to pay their rent is how most people find themselves homeless and this might be due to a loss of income, substance abuse, release from prison, or a number of other factors.  LGBT teens are often rejected by their families when they come out and they then find themselves homeless.  Domestic violence often leads to homelessness as well.
So what are we going to do about it?  Well yesterday I mentioned Project Homeless Connect here in San Francisco.  Donations to them help and they need volunteers too.  The same is true with the New York City Rescue Mission which I also mentioned.  There are numerous other organizations though.  Also in San Francisco, check out Episcopal Community Services HERE and the Homeless Youth Alliance HERE. Start a program of your own that can help.  Perhaps your church or a club you belong to can partner with you for a service (such as a meal program or a sock drive or a job fair) that you can regularly offer.  Talk to the leader in your community and in the nation as well.  We need to make this a priority.
It is not going to be immediate of course.  Homelessness is huge.  (I really haven't even scratched the surface this weekend in talking about it here).  As I said earlier though, if we all work at it, I think we can actually find an end.  Let's do it!

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