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.