Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Place to Call Home

I was thinking the other day about how fortunate my family and I are to have a home and a job and a car and a...

I was thinking the other day about how fortunate I was until I visited a homeless shelter and discovered how blessed my family and I are.

I wanted to know just how many Americans are homeless. I checked with the National Coalition for Homelessness and discovered tracking the number of homeless is a daunting task. The homeless are tracked through services by national, state and local governments. Services for homelessness is woefully inadequate and desperately underfunded. The closest numbers of homeless were..."In early 2007, the National Alliance to End Homelessness reported a point-in-time estimate of 744,313 people experiencing homelessness in January 2005." That's in 2005. With the economy continuing to falter, layoffs and businesses closing, odds on favorite are the numbers are higher. The Urban Institute estimates 39% of homeless are children. But more disturbing are estimates from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, that violence against the homeless are up.

As volunteers at the homeless shelter served dinner we spoke to a woman eating dinner in her car. "Look at these people. They're not on drugs, they're not drinking or causing problems. They need help." I looked around and saw the face of America.

I used to think I was fortunate, I'm not...I'm blessed.

If you'd like to get involved check here to read how, on the National Coalition for the Homeless' web site.

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