It is never easy to look poverty in the eye. Even when it is some poor benighted street person whose poverty seems self inflicted we want to turn away and pretend he or she isn’t there. But with the economy continuing to wallow in the doldrums of an at best anemic recovery, families are falling into homelessness to levels not seen since the Great Depression. According to this shocking report seen on the program “60 Minutes” 25% of children in the
now live in poverty. United States
The stories of these innocent victims of economic hard times are almost unbearable. Imagine going to school so hungry you will ask another student for the food they may not want to eat themselves. Or having to get on a school bus in front of a cheap motel where your family has moved after losing your home to foreclosure. Or enduring the shame of seeing you father stand by the side of a road with a sign that reads “Family of Five, Please Help.”
8 million families and 16 million children in distress in
overwhelming social welfare systems and charitable organizations struggling to
provide needed assistance. As
individuals, we feel powerless to help.
Last year I wrote about Home & Hope, a non-profit organization in America
that is specifically designed to engage individuals in the effort to assist
homeless families. San Mateo County
I can say from personal experience with this organization (I have joined the board and have spent the night with some of our families in a shelter) that we can and must become personally involved in creating solutions to the tragedy of families becoming homeless in
. The Home & Hope/Family Promise model
keeps families together while helping them to reconstruct their lives and
transition back to employment and housing.
Witnessing the bravery of the children is especially humbling. Listen to the boy in the “60 Minutes” piece state with such conviction “as long as you’re with your family you will make it through this…all of it.” Or the young girl say “when things get better we know there will still be people struggling and we will be able to help them.” We must find it in us to respond to such courage. Family of five, please help.