Every week I see threads crop up dedicated to a cause that is an unachievable one or one everyone talks about, but no one takes action for. The main
one for this website is of course revolt; revolt against government and against enslavement of the body and mind.
But what I do not see is a revolution for the homeless.
In a given year, as many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States. 1.37 million of these are children under the age of 18.
That means nearly 40% of the homeless population are families.
Here are some additional statistics:
Homeless Health Concerns
• 58% suffer from famine
• 55% do not have health insurance
• 46% suffer from serious health conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc.)
• 22% suffer from mental illnesses or mental or physical disabilities
• 27% were in foster care as children
• 25% were physically or sexually abused as children
• 23% are veterans
• 21% were homeless at some point in their childhood
We have children who began their life disadvantaged, people dying of starvation on our streets, and mentally ill individuals not receiving the care
they need and deserve. Is this the best we can do?
23% of our homeless are veterans. That is an absolute disgrace. These people voluntarily enlist in our military, are used as pawns in war, and our
thanks is a worthless medal, an engraving on a wall, and a place in an alley or on a street corner.
I am absolutely ashamed of this country. We are all talk, no results. We pride ourselves on being supposedly the wealthiest country in the world, yet
this is a common sight in our cities. So are we the wealthiest, or are we the greediest and most insensitive?
Our leaders are not going to solve this problem. It is about time we the people stop waiting for our leaders to do what they were elected to do and
start taking matters in to our own hands.
The homeless are the most overlooked and least advantaged demographic throughout the world. Although the degree of suffering varies from country to
country and continent to continent, homelessness is something no one wants. Banding together and launching a collective effort to making a difference
is the only way to insure that none of us who are still privileged to have a home, a source of income, and food on the table are not the next
individuals to add to that growing total of 3.5 million homeless.
It is for this reason I propose a project and a cause to help the homeless.
For the last several weeks, when I have had spare change or spare dollars, I have given them to the first homeless person I saw. Doing this got me
thinking: If everyone did the same, just how much money could be contributed to such a cause?
Rather than figuring up the statistics of everyone in the country, I started with ATS. If every ATS member gave a spare dollar or two each month to a
homeless person, that would be between $150,000 and $300,000 each month. That is between $1.8 million and $3.6 million every year. And if,
theoretically, every member gave a spare dollar or two each month to a different homeless person each month, we collectively would have helped close
to 2 million homeless people in one year.
It's true, a dollar or two will not buy them a home. It won't buy them health insurance. It won't even buy them a few days worth of food. But just
think about these numbers for a second. Even though it is only a dollar or two, it will help them in the short term. Then what if this catches on? We
would have started a trend of compassion and giving, and the impact becomes much greater because it has spread well beyond our 160,000+ member
What will you buy with that dollar or two? A pack of gum? A cheeseburger you don't need? Maybe you won't really care to keep track of it and it will
get tossed in a jar or lost in your couch?
Instead, give it to someone in more need of it than yourself. Give it to someone who is suffering from serious health issues. Give it to someone who
is hungrier and thirstier than you. Give it to someone who never had a chance at life. Give it to someone who has to wither in the heat of these
summer months in the hope that someone will be generous enough to spare some extra change. Give it to someone who gave themselves to fighting for this
country and got absolutely nothing for their service.
Your political beliefs aren't valid here. This is just good ol' fashioned human compassion. Unless you are a heartless ass, I can promise you giving
that spare dollar you have to a homeless person will make you feel a hell of a lot better inside than giving it to the person at the drive-thru window
at McDonalds ever could.
Additional Resources & Reading
Wikipedia - Homelessness
Wikipedia - Homelessness in the United States
Urban Institute - Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve