Imagine knowing that in the morning your family will not have a place to live. Imagine looking into the eyes of your children while you’re asking them how their feeling about the fact that the place they’ve known as home will no longer be theirs when they return from school. Imagine hearing “I’m ok”, but because your spirits are intertwined you can sense the fear and hopelessness that’s consuming their small being. Imagine going to work every day only to realize that even after working more than 50 hours a week, your money won’t save your family from eviction. Imagine peering into the eyes of your husband, as he attempts to conceal the ache of failure. He’s smiling but the windows to his soul tell the story of a shattered spirit, broken into pieces because he realizes that his hard work has proved to be insufficient.
This is the story of many Americans. According to The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HUD released homeless statistics for 2013 that state more than 600,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the U.S. Reports indicated in January 2012 that roughly 20 people per 10,000 in the general population are experiencing homelessness. According to povertyliving.com the rate of homelessness is in excess of 1.1 million at any given time. But the story is far deeper according to statisticbrain.com which suggests that currently there are 1,750,000 homeless people in the U.S. and of those 36% are made up of families with children.
In the U.S. there is no certain gender, age, race that is affected by homelessness. Homelessness is a diverse issue, the numbers reveal that African-Americans make up 50% of those affected, followed by 35% White, the last 15% is divided amongst Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians.
As if the number of those already experiencing homelessness isn’t enough, you should know that the number of children living below the poverty level is 12,000,000. This is a sad reality for millions of children in the U.S.
You’re probably saying that the numbers can change if stricter requirements are put on those who receive government assistance and I would agree. But, that won’t solve the problem completely, 25% of those experiencing homelessness are a part of the working class or should I say the working poor. But because of matters such as under-employment and lack of affordable housing, those who are trying to acquire better lives for themselves and their families are having a difficult time doing so.
So what can be done? One thing that I would suggest is to not be so quick to judge, not everyone that needs help wants it and not everyone that wants help needs it. Next, I would ask that if you are in the position to be of assistance to help another person/family, to please do so. Help isn’t always giving your money, but sometimes it is. It could also be as simple as a ride, food, information, prayers, the list goes on. Lastly, I would say that if you know someone in a position of power who has to ability to help change this enormous issue that many Americans are facing, to bring it to their attention.
Lastly, from personal experiences I know that it’s hard to do for people, especially if you’re one of those who are natural givers but have been taken advantage of but I’m learning that it’s often not those that I am a blessing to who return the favor, but when you give as unto God you will be repaid. Remember this could be your story!