Monday, September 7, 2009
Soaring, Surging, Way Out of Control
Can't say I'm surprised at the latest news about numbers of homeless kids exploding all across this fine country.
Sad because, in addition to the trauma that kids endure, this problem isn't bound to improve for a considerable amount of time.
Ever tell a kid to wait a bit, that things will get better? Their impatience puts pressure on the adults who promised improvement. Right now the pressure is on schools, struggling with a host of other issues, mostly funding-related, as they get swamped by homeless students.
Ever look at a youngster's face and know things are tough--and will remain painful--for a long time? What can you say?
I think it boils down to adults not getting it, or not prioritizing the well-being of kids. What gets in the way? Distorted politics, greed, and a sense of disconnect from what used to be perceived as kids from the other side of the tracks.
But now, with numbers of identified school-age kids shooting past 1 million (meaning even more than that--kids, younger and older, those hidden from plain sight), it's kids from both sides of the tracks losing their places to live.
I wish I could say I'm surprised. But I'm not. It's one of a multitude of "perfect storm" scenarios that are swirling around our beleaguered country. And, until our leaders learn to play well together, we're going to see more kids we know, with and without families, losing their homes.
Seems to me it's time to call a time-out on the "Red Rover" game. Instead of trying to destroy the other side, it's way past time to join hands together and see if we can salvage things before they get worse. But that means the bullies on the playground need to quit bullying. The principal better have a deep bag of tricks.
Photos C Diane Nilan