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....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Help Wanted: Powerful Lobbyists Needed

I know I'm getting desperate when I start thinking about hiring powerful lobbyists to help homeless children and youth. I'm just lacking a few hundred thou to pay them. And I'm a little short on cash for campaign donations too.

Not that the current intrepid team of homeless children advocates isn't working tremendously hard, but they just don't have the clout to turn this country's "Titanic-like" approach to homelessness around in time to save the kids, including a horrendous number of babies and toddlers, who are getting brutalized by homelessness and poverty. Yes, this current administration is a tad bit better when it comes to at least acknowledging this issue, but they're too busy on other efforts. In the meantime, homeless kids slip through Grand Canyon-sized cracks in our all but shredded safety network.

What motivates me? I've talked to so many amazing kids and parents on my journeys across this country. I carry their faces with me, hearing their voices pleading for help, wanting a chance to succeed.

Picture a big mob scene, with determined, passionate, desperate people crowded together. Then put a bunch of little kids into the mix. When the crowd panics and scatters, the kids get crushed. That's sort of what's happening.

In true DC fashion, I've seen a turn-around, with former "anti-homeless kids" advocacy organizations now proclaiming the urgent need to do something about this tragic issue. Yes, more money is being allocated to homelessness, but it's way too little, way too late, and way too slow getting disbursed. Everywhere I go I hear about the HPRP (Homelessness Prevention Rapid Re-housing) funds that are not beginning to make a dent, or the frustrations of a weak distribution network that makes it hard to get the money on the streets in a timely manner.

Tillie, my turtle-like RV, and I will be heading to DC next week. We're going to screen our new documentary on homeless families, "on the edge," with a few select audiences. And I'll sit down with key legislators to talk about the need to pass an even stronger, better funded, homeless education bill. 

You can join the "fun" by signing our petition to asking for increased funding for homeless students' education. Rest assured that this issue gets almost no attention by beleaguered lawmakers for reasons we can all figure out. That's where you come in. Sign and share this simple petition--the current way to communicate with elected officials. (WE WANT 1,000 SIGNATURES. We have almost 200. LET'S GET GOING!!!)
Seems to me that it's far too easy to dismiss the lobbyist-less homeless kids and families that need attention. I guess that's why I feel the need to go to tell lawmakers that homeless kids count, and their count is soaring. I'd love to have you with me, with your petitions paving the way like a plow on a muddy field.

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