Friday, February 27, 2009

The Homeless Family

On Wednesday February 25th the Oprah show was about the new faces of the recession and tent cities in America. I had been in the city that day, at an orientation at Jewish Vocational Services, seeing several of my new friends from the unemployed professionals group there. I walked in, turned on Oprah and realized quickly that this would be difficult to watch. In my current situation I avoid as much bad news as I possibly can, it doesn't help. There was a woman in Sacramento with 3 children, they are homeless, living in a shelter some nights, but not always, the shelters have to turn many away each night, there are not enough beds for everyone. This wasn't some strung out, alcoholic or drug addicted mother, she was pretty, clean and articulate. I watched the rest of the show, formerly middle class people losing their homes, a lot of the film was shot in Southern California, I recognized the real estate signs and neighborhoods. Oprah's show encores at 1:00 a.m. on weeknights, I woke up at 12:59 and watched the entire show again. So much for sleeping, I laid awake until dawn.

A school administrator was interviewed; she said there were 7000 homeless children in Sacramento attending school.

I have been thinking what a wake up call for America this is. All the attention on the movie Slumdog Millionaire and children living in the slums of India. I think we thought we were somehow immune from this happening here. Here we are, children with no home and often no warm bed at night, their clothes being carried in a plastic bag. The shelters wake people up at 5:00 a.m. and close very early in the morning, these families have to wander the streets during the day and wait. They get in line early in the afternoon for the shelters to open up again at night.

What can we do? I welcome anyone's thoughts and comments. I need to volunteer to help the homeless; all I can think about is finding a way to help somehow. I feel guilty if I don't spend nearly every hour of the day looking for work or in an activity geared towards finding work. We are in crisis and we can not just look the other way.

1 comment:

Scarlett7d said...

Kelly - Thanks for finding me and allowing me to find and share your wonderful gift of writing again. Bless you and know that you always have a friend here in Dallas, Texas.