|Babe of Wrath Pat LaMarche stood with her sign outside|
the Janesville, WI office of Speaker Paul Ryan. The police were
summoned. She collected $6.79, and donated it to HEAR US.
It’s not easy to stand on a street corner with a sign—asking for money or demanding justice. Between hecklers and honkers, and those who pass you by like litter, it takes a hefty dose of chutzpah to put yourself out there. Three good-hearted women in Greenville, MI discovered the perils of panhandling last Friday.
Panhandling is one of the least popular “professions” in America, aside from politicians and plumbers. That loaded term demeans those standing on street corners asking for money. Think of it as people trying to earn money honestly since they’ve been shut out of the brutal employment market.
The women who stood with their cardboard signs in this nondescript Michigan town were calling attention to homeless babies and children.
What? Babies and children are homeless? It never ceases to surprise me how many are, and how few know. Using numbers of actually identified homeless students, I’ve estimated that probably 3 million kids in America—from infants to youth approaching adulthood—are homeless. That number shocks me. And I’ve been doing this work for over 3 decades.
A couple years ago I visited with Becky, an astute mom in central Michigan, not far from Greenville. She, along with her family, had experienced homelessness, including a brutal winter in a pop-up camper. In 3 minutes she can enlighten and maybe inspire you.
My national nonprofit, HEAR US Inc., “specializes” in raising awareness of homeless children and youth. For the past 11 years I’ve traveled more than 300,000 miles of mostly backroads to chronicle the kind of homelessness the press, politicians and the public fail to see. It’s not a pretty picture. And it’s about to get worse.
My prediction isn’t based on partisan politics. It’s based on how a billionaire buffoon’s blathering bamboozled bubbleheads’ beliefs.
Enough alliteration. For now.
Having been around the block a few times during presidential elections, and being fascinated by media, I’ve witnessed the power of the idiotic overpowering the essential. I knew it was coming in this incessant election "news" cycle that had millions wanting to stick our heads into pencil sharpeners. And it’s not over.
That doesn’t bode well for vulnerable populations, homeless babies and children for example. HEAR US worked hard to create a catchy project, Yay Babies! Yay Kids!, to call positive attention to the millions of little and bigger kids without homes. Our effort offers free materials—a catchy short PSA (Public Service Announcement) video about babies, and a simple flyer with 3 action steps to help babies in local communities—and a modestly-priced ($10) guide, The Charlie Book: 60 Ways to Help Homeless Kids, to, well, you know.
Despite my cogent nature, I had hoped these tools would light the world on fire, or at least generate a sizable and viral ripple that would make sure we are at least caring for the basic needs of babies and kids without homes. Um, well, no.
But it’s not too late. The tools stand ready:
- Yay Babies! video
- Yay Babies! flyer
- Yay Kids! The Charlie Book: 60 Ways to Help Homeless Kids
- Yay Babies! Yay Kids! Facebook page
All that’s needed is you.