Throughout his visit, he's constantly calling attention to the poor, homeless, downtrodden and forgotten. I couldn’t be happier that this growing segment of our nation’s adults and kids finally get attention. Now, to turn attention to compassion.
Realizing that immeasurable good is done behind the scenes every day, I still hope that more will be done. I’ve seen firsthand, nationwide, the suffering of families and youth who lack a place to call home.
For the past 30 years that I’ve been working in, for and among those clumped together as “the poor” and “the homeless,” I’ve seen a frightening growth in their numbers, and an atrocious reduction of resources needed to survive, much less thrive. Recent reports of our nation’s (lack of) progress on reducing poverty, and alarming documentation of soaring homelessness among students (and their families) confirms what I’ve seen in my HEAR US travels: more families, youth and adults are struggling to escape the shackles of poverty and homelessness.
Recently I spoke with one of the women I met in Kansas this year during my filming of Worn Out Welcome Mat - KS (click to watch). Her plight, and that of her young daughter, was and is dire. Her path out? Well, let me say she’d have better luck winning the lottery than escaping her doubled up situation.
The other day I heard from a friend about what she’s doing in her community to help—a vital service—giving a homeless college student a place to stay over holidays when the dorms are closed. Sweet!
What makes a difference in the lives of the families and youth without housing? Plenty, large and small (check our HEAR US compassion epidemic list, a 1-pg. menu):
- Housing, a given, with advocacy to make more housing available being one place to get involved.
- Education, another biggie, should be happening all over the country, thanks to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education program.
- Basic needs—supplies, clothing, shoes; food; medical supplies, etc.
- One-to-one help—tutoring, mentoring, etc.
- Support your favorite homelessness organization. Sure, we’d love you to join the HEAR US supporters, but local efforts are good, too.
I’m about to embark on what will be a 10,000 mile marathon journey across much of the U.S. to conduct presentations, meet with potential partners, screen my new film, and speak with current and formerly homeless families and youth. I’d like to tell them that everyone possible is doing everything possible to make life better for the millions of our sisters and brothers without housing.
I’d love to hear from you. Just click POST A COMMENT and let me know what you’ve done. It’s not bragging—it’s further inspiring a compassion epidemic!