Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not My Problem??? Nope, it's OUR Problem...

When temperatures drop below 25 degrees, I’m always reminded of the countless homeless individuals who often have no recourse other than enduring the bitter cold. It’s this group of men, women & (sadly) children who always get the bulk of my charitable donations during any given year.

I often wonder of the various personal battles with family, society or drug usage that landed each in such a low position in life. Is someone looking for them? Were they abused? How do they feel about the situation? I often hear talk of how children need our protection the most, but one could easily argue that the group most deeply need of such protection is our homeless community.

Just how many laws & ordinances are created (& funded) to assist with an issue that seems to get more & more serious by the day? Nowadays, there’s an advocacy group for just about anything you can think of yet the plight of the homeless remains 1 of the most understated ethical dilemmas in our nation. I’m fully aware that 3 to 6 very bad months could easily land me in such a situation, so I’m often thankful for the support of my family & friends & would be remiss not to share some of my fruits.

For me, one of the most frustrating things is the powerless feeling that often accompanies my compassion for those affected by homelessness. No matter how many checks I write, soup kitchens I volunteer at, or conversations I hold with those affected will ever make a dent in the problem without the massive, overwhelming support of the community.

At this point in time, our nation struggles with how to even define the term ‘homeless,’ & I’m positive that the recent trend of job-loss over past few years has depleted most of the funding currently available to combat the issue. Here in DC alone, it’s estimated that family homelessness increased 37% between 2008 & 2010.

I implore you to do whatever you feel appropriate during this season of giving in regard to assisting with such an effort. Above all - keep in mind that it could be you…

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