South Korea is quite a distance from Reno, NV. So, as I sat last night at dinner talking with the 3-person team of the South Korean MBC news crew, it was fascinating to explore homelessness in S Korea as they queried me about America's homeless adults and children.
The same is true in SK as in the USA--invisible homeless families and teens escape notice, much to their detriment.
They have domestic violence in SK, but women tend to stay with their abusive spouses. They have house fires and other disasters that displace families, forcing them to double-up with relatives or friends.
A few key differences--housing costs are more affordable and medical expenses are far less than this country.
But they talk about greed and extreme wealth there in similar ways that some of us see this pervasive condition in America.
We visited a local shelter program that helps families. They are only able to serve 3 families at a time, and folks can only come in at 6 and must leave in the early morning hours so the church can be used for its daily purpose. Generous volunteers make this stop-gap service possible.
The director said they have a waiting list of 40 families which doesn't include the number of families requesting help that just don't get on the list.
Reno has a new state-of-the-art mens' shelter, part of the federal government's much-heralded "Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness," better known as the clear out the visible homeless adults plan. The feds don't want to include families in their definition of homelessness fearing "opening the floodgates."
Seems to me that in a city of decadent gambling, entertainment and dining, the proverbial crumbs from the tables could be gathered to assist families who live in dreadful conditions, in all forms of homelessness. Instead we're growing a future crop of homeless adults by ignoring families today.