Homelessness- It Can Happen to You!
While surfing at work the other day I came across this article in local news. I had heard about the tent city in Lakewood before and how the town was annoyed by its' existence.
After Hurricane Sandy and everything else that has gone on since the economy tanked in 2008, there is not anything good going on to help those in need.
What disgusts me the most about this whole situation is the lack of compassion and understanding many have towards the "homeless". I really do not even like the term "homeless" because the label seems to judge and accuse. Assumptions are made that all it takes is some effort to get yourself out of homelessness. Judgments are made about how one even becomes homeless.
Believe me, it can happen to anyone.
A sudden medical emergency, whether you have insurance or not can be enough to put someone in jeopardy of losing their home. So many of us work for less these days, happy to have a job but knowing that it doesn't hardly pay our basic expenses. Finding a better-paying job is not easily done or even done at all. I personally know many people with college degrees who are working jobs that are educationally beneath them but they need to have a paycheck.
Since 2008 I have seen my paycheck go down not up and although I have adjusted to making less I still fall behind. If not for the patience and kindness of my landlord (and help from family) I too would be homeless.
I have suffered medical emergencies while un-insured and the result was bankruptcy because I just didn't have the income to pay back what I owed. On paper my family makes too much money for public assistance. Not that I want assistance because I do not. I want to earn a living wage and I will not give up looking for a job that will pay me that.
In the meantime I will shout out that homelessness is everyone's problem. As a country we rush to help others abroad but our neighbors live in poverty. We owe our fellow Americans a helping hand. Most people do not want a handout they just want a hand to help them up. Give people the opportunity to work and they will. Pay them a living wage so they can feel good about themselves. Give them a decent place to live.
No one should have to live in the woods and feel they have no hope. No one should be judged for how they got there. Read their stories and put yourself in their shoes. Imagine what would happen to you if _____ happened.