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....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Think I'm Making Stuff Up? Think Again!

If you read this post and want to do something, click on the above pix.

Sometimes it's good to be validated, sometimes it's not.

Of all the places where people struggle to accept the reality of homelessness, affluent suburbs are at the top of the list. Such is the case in DuPage County (IL), where affluence is the way of life--for most. Others squeak by, like my friend Jan, my "guest blogger" tonight. Still others--children, teens and adults--are HOMELESS.

Jan volunteers at the DuPage PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) program once a month. She goes for the reality check and to offer her simple but beautiful hospitality to anyone who needs it. Lots of people do the same--the nucleus of a compassion epidemic in the making. Would be nice to hear from more of you... and thanks, Jan!

6 p.m. Jan. 23, 2008
Tonight I am part of a routine that looks a lot alike from GoogleEarth,
city to city, across America. I am one of those volunteers who goes to
a church that doubles as homeless shelter once a week. The routine
commences. We are dragging out the pads, assembling the meal line.
Where's the pillowcases?

Good people coagulate like herds of sheep beneath gathering storm
clouds... it be nasty out there but together us "warm fuzzies" huddle
and shelter each other, the weak, the scared, the aged, the ill, the
hunted, the haunted, the lost and the little lambies without a home.

Tonight a 6 week old baby is at PADS. I was doing childcare and offered
to give mom and dad a break and hold Tommy Jr. for a bit. Mom said,
"Yeah, uh, you mentioned that last time. No thanks. You see, I got
control issues."

I backed off to drift back to play with the volunteers' kids, but I
wanted to cry and laugh, I SO UNDERSTOOD what mom just said. If my
child was born on the street and had her wobbly head banging against me
all day in the 25 F below zero wind chill today, I would never let
another soul hold her when I was in the warmth in a library or church,
eating, resting, cleaning up. Finally, at 7 p.m., free of cops and
DCFS, and strangers in the dark by the dumpster if dad takes off a bit,
why the heck would I volunteer to hand over my reason for fighting for
a better dream?

Hurts to know she is out there with that desperation, wanting to know
what it will be.
Jan Hamilton

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