invisible homeless kids

Hard to imagine that in this country way over 3 MILLION kids are without homes. H-O-M-E-L-E-S-S Kids. I don't get it. Are we willing to discard these kids? Not me. So this blog will relentlessly focus on this issue, hoping to light a spark to fuel a compassion epidemic. Chime in, argue, but do something....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Greetings in Casino-land

You can almost hear the jingle of sleigh bells in Reno, the "biggest little city in the world," as the city inspector added his off-red decoration to this nondescript house which had been home to one family for the past 5 years.

The bad news was delivered about 10 in the morning, and the mom, dad and 6 kids, including an infant, had to vacate by 4 that day. And because they have no option, they ended up in a no-tell-motel, 2 adjacent, but not adjoining rooms. A social service agency helped them by paying for the first 2 weeks. Mom's the full-time breadwinner, but their meager finances would be devastated by the $400 a week for their rooms, not including the storage rental for their stuff.

The landlord failed to make repairs, and now this family and a single guy who had just moved into this place are all homeless in time for the holidays. Despite what the definition of homelessness is according to HUD, this family is HOMELESS. And, despite common thinking, Reno has NO family shelter other than a 3-family set-up in a church that has a waiting list of over 40 families.

Pause for a moment to consider the reality of 2 adults and 6 kids in 2 little motel rooms with a microwave and small refrigerator for "kitchen" use. Think of what foods can be nutritionally served with that arrangement. Even thinking about the space issues makes me cringe. Yes, they're better off than if they lived on the streets, but not by much. The stress level with this family is devastating. I've spent time with them.

Now, this isn't some third world country or state. They're in Nevada, where casino profits are at a record high. I dunno, call me stupid, but with PROFITS for these gambling enterprises topping over $2 BILLION, it seems like it's not for lack of money floating around Reno. Maybe it's a lack of asking the right people....

Seems to me someone would be able to cough up a little financial assistance to help this family have a merry Christmas. And, please don't think that means toys and electronic games. THEY NEED A PLACE TO CALL HOME!

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