Monday, January 4, 2010

Honoring The Homless

This could be you

It 's easy to oppose the idea of being homeless. But few people go out of their way to understand just how devastating the experience of being without a home can be. Homelessness reached crisis proportion in 2009. The need for community homeless shelter is greater than ever, in the past year, the number of families and individuals at shelters have quadrupled.

December 21st is the longest day of the year and the coldest day of the year. So it is an appropriate day to honor and mourn those who died in the past year without a home. As communities gather to remember and honor those who died, let us resolve to do whatever it takes to ensure that such memorials do not need to become an annual event, for many, this will be the only memorial service they receive. Many die on the streets, in cars, in shelters with no family or loved one to mourn for them, how very very sad.

Prince William of England, spent one freezing night "rough sleeping" on the streets in London. His goal? To actively understand the plight of young homeless people in his community. The organization that provides services to the homeless youth, wanted to put William to the test and invited him to sleep on the street. To their surprise, on December 15th he slept in a cardboard box next to Blackfriar's Bridge in the middle of December, no less. I admire him for this effort. After one night William said he could not imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London's streets night every night.

Cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hyannis, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. are among the 130 communities across the country that will have planned a memoral event. Some communities will process through the streets. Others will host candlelight vigils . Some will take advantage of this opportunity to collrct donations, like winter hats, gloves and scarves, for people who are still living on the streets.

Even if there isn't a homless memorial event happening in your community, I urge you to do something on January 21st in honor of a homeless person who died this year. Resolve to volunteer in 2010 in honor of the 6-month-old baby girl who died of sudden infant death syndrome. A Minneapolis homeless shelter was the only home she ever knew.

Take 15 minutes to educate yourself about the real causes of homeless in memory of Michael Palm, who was stabbed to death in his car where he'd been living while working as a cab driver.

Make a gift to your local shelter in memory of Tyrone Hicks, who moved to Minneapolis "with bullets still stuck in his body" to escape violence in Chicago. Most importantly, as we memorialize those who died in cars, on streets and in shelters, let us all think about what it will take to prevent homeless deaths in 2010.

Thank you friends for reading this, it has become a global disaster. I can't imagine sleeping on the streets all year round, especially in freezing weather. Trying to maintain a family without knowing where you are going to lay your head, not to mention having no food. May God lay his hands upon the land and let us come up with a solution. God Bless America. I just had to post this, it seems to be on the news constantly and in the papers. I am asking all my friends to say a prayer for the homeless.


Patty said...

I know I thank God every night for our home. I also say a little prayer for all the homeless people, people going hungry and children that are being abused, physically, sexually and mentally. We never know when we could be come one of the homeless. I can't begin to imagine how they survive in temp like we've been having. Your article should make people stop and think.

Tea said...

You're right; this is a national disaster and shame. We certainly do need to do what we can to help. Thank God for shelters and people who care.

A New Beginning said...

We have a lot of homeless people in our country aswell and you are right their plight can never be truely understood by us until and unless we get to experience it which if God forbid should ever happen, we wont be able to bear it. Its imp to understand someone elses pain and do something for them, thats only how we would be at peace with ourselves and would be able to face our conscience..its imp to be human, to love, to give coz when God made us a human being he gave this responsibility in our hand. I truely appreciate what Prince Williams did.

Kay said...

We have a huge homeless population here in Hawaii. I do feel for them. But in Chicago, it always amazed me to see people staying out in the cold in the frigid winter and surviving.


A most interesting post Margaret, I can't imagine for one moment what it must be like to be homeless. As you said Prince William slept in a cardboard box for one night , it was sub zero temperatures that night, His mother The Princess Of Wales was a patron of the homeless and he is carrying on much of the things she felt strongly about.
Thanks for sharing this with us, perhaps reading this will put many things into perspective.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the homeless and that something needs to be done. I worked with homeless people for years before I retired since I was in social work. It seems to get worse instead of better. We certainly need more shelters, too. Great post and something we all need to think about. It could be any of us at any time.

Missy said...

OMG you have to check out this link. This counrty artist is walking half way across the country to raise awareness for the homeless.

Doug Cloud said...

We should all do what we can to help people in these situations. As the Bible tells us ...

"Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,' When you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28)

What often happens is people think about their own needs first, before those who are destitute. If you have a home and food and a warm bed then you already have enough and you can easily give to help those who don't have these things - now.

Don't stop and thing about it, just do it. You can give food, time, money, and even clothes. As long as you give with a giving heart and not feel it is an obligation.

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Anonymous said...

Homelessness is a sin. It is like no help for the sick or injured. I think this country is big enough to support and take care of all the citizens and I also think it is time they chased the illegals out forever. If they come in the right way that is OK with me. Anyway, homeless people are no longer the druggies and drunks and mental patients but your former neighbors who are down on their luck. It is a great picture.

I had another coughing spell today but think I am over it for now. The doctors seem to think I should be better by next week.

Linda said...

Bless your heart, Margaret, for bringing this into focus. I honestly cannot imagine what so many go through, having never experienced it, but my heart is distraught at the thought of it. What a horrible, horrible thing to have no home, no warm place of comfort. :(

Thank you for the wonderful work you do in this blog by bringing to light all sorts of important subjects.

Kind regards,

Twyla and Lindsey said...

I am very thankful for my warm home. The temperatures have been in the -0's this week and thank goodness we have places in our town who open their doors to take in these homeless people. I'm sure there are some who still are out in the elements and I don't know how they survive. You are so right, we need to all pray for the homeless. Twyla

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

You're not just a wonderful writer, but a wonderful person too. In fact more of the latter part.

Just prayers won't do; people need to understand the equal rights. Homelessness comes into picture just because we, the people, the citizens of the earth, believe that my home is mine, and their home is theirs. GOD has given all the resources for everyone. Why human tendency of ownership? Obviously, I can't imagine anyone invading in my home; why? Because we are grown-up in a weird social upbringing. I'm not talking about the weird social upbringing of my place alone, but world over. Sadly, the fact remains with every species, not just humans.

Village Life

Unseen Rajasthan said...

I Agree With Patty Completely on this !! Sad but true !!


Thanks for the visit Margaret and lovely comment. Yes, this year so far has not been
too bad, I am very excited that God Willing I am going to see my favourite singer Daniel O Donnell at Nashville in June.
Take care and be happy.

Merle said...

Dar Margaret ~~ Great post and thanks for bringing it to our
attention. We should all pray and also give what we can to help these people. I applaud Prince William for his night out in a cardboard box. Thanks for your comment and I was not surprised that peppers are sold in a trio. Glad you liked Linda's tribute to old age. Just under my cat on sidebar is a sign that says "Get
widget" If you click on this you should be able to get one for your blog. That's what I did years ago. Glad you enjoyed the stories and jokes. Take care, my friend and stay safe. Love, Merle.

arlee bird said...

Homelessness is a situation that is difficult for me to comprehend. I have always lived in comfort and would not want to ever lose that state of comfort. I think about homelessness a lot and wonder about the homeless people I see. Thank you for bringing this important issue to light.

Katie and Da Katz said...

We have several homeless ministries here in Wichita, but the one called Messiah's Branch is the most inspiring to me, because it is a small ministry run by one pastor, his family and friends, but they make such a big difference.

If it wasn't for a house left by my grandparents, my cats and I would be homeless too.... Thank God I have shelter and my faith to keep me going through the darkest of nights into the light of Day.


Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I thank him everyday for the blessings I have Margaret.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Margaret:)

This is a fantastic, thought provoking, inspiring post. It was wonderful of you to highlight the plight of homeless people.

I always felt the government and rich people can do a lot in this direction. All that they do is only lip service and I don't see any concrete action. Both the rich people and the govt. spend so much money on frivolous things to get publicity and votes. But nothing is being done to ameliorate the conditions of the poor be it providing shelters, medicine, food and other basic amenities. I hope some good sense will prevail upon these people who sit on piles of money even though they can't take it with them in the end.

By saying this, I am not belittling the efforts each and everyone one of us can do to help the homeless. Yes, every little we do will go a long way. Let us do some thing on 21st Jan. as you have suggested.

Denise said...

A very thought provoking post Margaret, an issue we need to be reminded of constantly. I will remember January 21st. I have a good friend who herself remembers the time she had to sleep in a telephone box one very cold wintry night.

Theresa111 said...

* Edited Version. The type is small and I have to correct my typos.

Your post came at an appropriate time, when most of the world has celebrated the holiday season. I pray many times throughout the day, because there is such a desperate need for prayers to be answered.

We tithe regularly, and a major portion goes toward Catholic Charities, who are forever helping the needy. We did animal rescue for years and still feed poor and homeless kitties. We give to the poor and homeless, and even helped a child have a cleft operation. We donate to preserve our wildlife and the environment.

After reading your post, you have impressed a new reason for us, as a country, to try to figure out how we can help more. How we can do something in our towns. We live in the Washington, DC metro area, and I just do not understand how ... after being such an enlightened country during the second half of the last century, that the situation of our beloved country has come to this pass.

Thank you for writing this because I look on it as a gift, the voice of an angel calling out, to be not only listened to, but to be heard.

Quiet Waters Rise said...

Hello Margaret. I have come here upon the recommendation from Theresa111's blog, and have to say that your post sincerely moved me.

What you have said is so very true and I agree with Theresa, that you are an angel, calling out to the world with this very important issue.

It makes you realize, for one, to be thankful for what we have and also to realize what impact that we could make as a country, as a society, if only we all would help.

I know that times are tough for many people in our country right now, but there are so many with luxuries or even the little extras that we could do without. Would I rather go to a salon to have my nails done or see a movie in a theater? Or would I rather know that I was able to help provide a meal and warm shelter for somebody without.

As a very wise man once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world"

Begin with yourself, which you have so beautifully done, and that will create ripples of the same.

Thank you so much for this wonderful post.

Catherine said...

I do believe in the power of prayer. I will pray for these people and for our country.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I'm looking forward to your new post Mrs Cloud!

Rays of Hope

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