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....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Intertwined Stories

Over a thousand miles apart, stories share some common elements, and some potential tragic outcomes.

On a bridge in Alabama, a father allegedly tosses his four children over the rail into the swirling sea. For now, little is known about the circumstances of this unimaginable act. Further reports will likely include elements of abuse, poverty and despair. No excuses for what he did, but we should probably open our eyes to see these horrible events coming....

Scan the headlines of this or any week and the horrors repeat across the country: parents kill children, children kill parents, foster children kill abusive adults, and the tragedies go on and on, to the point where most people tune them out and immerse themselves into fantasy something or another.

After visiting a warehouse-like shelter in Phoenix where dozens of families and over 400 single adults can thankfully find refuge, the scope of poverty and despair become even more vivid. This shelter, despite the warehouse setting, strives to provide a haven for people who have lost everything. But those who end up here, and at shelters across the land, carry some weighty baggage: indescribable amounts of pain and stress.

The agony of facing homelessness devastates children as well as adults. Folks at this shelter try their best to ease the experience of landing at a shelter. I'd hope that if families that end up in a caring environment, and receive hope-creating help, they'll have a chance to avoid the all-too-common powerful vortex of relentless poverty and despair that destroys life. But anyone in this profession will bluntly tell you--those needing help far overburden existing resources.

For anyone who has witnessed or experienced the ultimate stress that accompanies the strain of inadequate resources, hopeless futures, unsolveable crises, broken relationships, and all the other very real struggles that come at us like blinding snowflakes in a snowstorm, these stories of tragedies probably hit close to the bone.

Seems to me that our "respect life" mantra needs some bolstering. Do we respect only the lives of those secure in their environment, well-endowed with resources and opportunities, with nice wardrobes and bright futures? Or do we realize that "there but for fortune go you and I..."?

It's time to query our presidential candidates on some real issues. My question to the candidates: What would you say to the parent filled with anguish who feels all hope is lost for providing for their family?
Check out the HEAR US campaign:
It's a little thing you can do to ease the pain of homelessness...

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