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, January 7, 2008

Ho-Hum-Homelessness Report

I forgot all about the annual US Mayors' homelessness report which was released mid-December. So I looked it up and ho-hum...Plenty of disclaimers turn a good idea into a fairly useless document. It's only a survey of cities represented by Mayors on the hunger and homelessness committee. They don't have any statistically valid way of gathering the data. It's only 23 cities and, gosh, they don't cover rural communities.

They've been doing this report since 1982. So why bother? How much does a report like this cost? Do they just take last year's report, change a few things and release it in time for Christmas each year? Happy Holidays! Homelessness and hunger are increasing. Have a nice day, and SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!

I'd have to say the media has caught on to the worthlessness of this report, based on the fact that I didn't hear anything or read anything about it.

You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller

Wonder what the tone of the report would be if a committee of homeless adults and teens, given essential resources, compiled the report?

I suspect that most mayors on the committee are far removed from hunger and homelessness. Most of us are. Which is one reason why things continue to worsen for the "have-nots" while those with a little piece of the American Dream hold on tightly.

For the close to 37 million in our country who live at or below poverty level (
Census Bureau), and the millions who are above the magic--but unrealistic--poverty line who can't begin to make ends meet, they're staring homelessness in the face. That's adults and kids, rural, suburban and urban.

A study by the Urban Institute is credited for estimating that about 10% of people in poverty will experience homelessness. I couldn't find the study, but it seems to be a safe, conservative guestimate. I'd point out that the poverty levels by some experts' evaluations, are extremely low, and probably should be doubled. People in poverty would agree with that. Politicans in office would pooh-pooh the idea. Me? I flunked college statistics twice so I'll stay out of the numbers arena.

Seems to me that we spend a lot of time and money hashing about irrelevant reports and too little time talking to those who know the issue, like 9-year old Deshaud (left) in Ohio, who observes, "We weren't exactly poor, we just didn't have a home to live in..." (from the HEAR US documentary My Own Four Walls)

OK, that's a clear statement of a problem.Now, what can we do to fix it?

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