Despite our ongoing best effort to get Congress to address the growing issue of homeless kids, nothing seems to work. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education released the latest number of school kids identified as homeless, 1,360,747. This number represents DOUBLE the amount of students since before the recession.
As the kind folks at the National Alliance to End Homelessness were good enough to point out, most of these students are doubled up, staying with friends, relatives, or acquaintances because they have nowhere to go. (If you want to hear from the families and youth as to what it's like being doubled up, here's my latest HEAR US documentary, Worn Out Welcome Mat - KS.)
Pope Francis will visit NYC where record number of homeless families and youth are overwhelming the underwhelming system.
He will travel to Philadelphia where families living in tents have befuddled authorities in their feeble attempts to make sure no one, especially babies and toddlers, are sleeping on the streets.
He will stop in DC to afflict the comfortable members of Congress as he addresses a joint session. (Oh, to be a fly on the wall watching the squirming...).
So, the "eggs (hopes)" in my basket are:
- Get Congress to issue a joint apology to the millions of homeless families and youth, coupled by their commitment to revamp our nation's paltry approach to this population, and the serious funding necessary. Oh yeah, pass (fully funded) the Homeless Children and Youth Act for a show of good faith.
- Get Congress to agree that poverty in America is immoral and that they will immediately and wholeheartedly take drastic steps to restore a decent quality of life to the disenfranchised.
- Get Congress to institute a moratorium on any cruel initiatives to punish those at the bottom of the economic ladder--in areas not limited to health care, criminal justice, welfare, childcare, education and nutrition.
- Hear the confession of the NAEH folks who up till now denied the plight of families and youth who lost housing and doubled up with others.
I'm sure these things will happen. Wanna know why? The Nuns On The Bus will be in DC to make sure things go well. Amen!