During the Coronavirus, and before the virus, people have found that making ends meet is not always easy. Sometimes it means just finding a place to sleep.
Even people who have jobs, that they don’t want to lose, will continue to work and live at night in their cars. Others do what they can by sleeping and living in a low priced hotel. Some are alone. Others have families and have to find a place to sleep with little children and to find something for them to eat. Veterans who have bravely fought in wars often find themselves homeless. Nether are highly educated people exempt from this calamity of life.
Among the homeless are also the emotionally disturbed and drug addicts. Do some make a life decision to camp on the streets and not look for work? Has the habit become sitting on the side of a road with a sign or waiting for someone kind to come to the rescue? The answer to this is “yes”, but not all. Some people would give anything to go back to a normal way of living. Poverty is a reality whatever face it has.
As we look at the American history after the Great Depression, Lyndon Johnson made his “war on poverty.” This allowed people to have food stamps to help get by. Help is given to women with children. Are there those who abuse the system? Yes, is the answer again. There are many other programs that have reached out to the less fortunate, whether they are church-related or governmental. Restaurants often donate their foods to food banks. Soup kitchens are prevalent. Even though these places are usually well-known by those who are homeless, the place to sleep at night, during all kinds of weather, and bathrooms available for use, are serious concerns to the person and to public health.
Because we have some of the same concerns here in the U.S., the Episcopal Church Women in Leesburg, FL started a food drive that brought in hundreds of pounds of food as well as thousands of dollars to buy needed food and items for the poor. This included school supplies for the children.
Our Episcopal church also has once a year sponsored medical and dental personnel to go to poverty-stricken foreign countries. What if a homeless person in the U.S. is sick or has a toothache? There are volunteers all over the country who give of their time to address medical and dental needs of those who can’t afford the care. Americans, for the most part, are a generous and giving people.
The homeless and poverty-stricken are not all lazy people who live on the street. There are people who have health needs that they can’t afford. This is especially true in Appalachia. It has been… and IS an on-going problem that must be addressed by our country’s leaders, whoever is in Congress or the White House. Poverty, for whatever reason, is with us. Like any grave concern of a nation, it has to be addressed.
The homeless all have different faces. Some are on the streets. Others are in their cars, still holding down the only job that they have. Who is to point the finger? Unless a person has had to live this experience, there is little understanding of it.
Perhaps the video below can give us a better understanding of real people, in parts of America, who were willing to share their situation in being without a place to sleep and other concerns.
When you turn over tonight in your warm, clean bed, think to pray and be thankful.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. “— 1 John 3:17
Turn on your sound.