Where are the Homeless?

 

In the best of situations, children will see
living outside of four walls as an “adventure,”
depending on the attitude of their caretaker
adults and the level of deprivation.

For most Americans, the deep poverty of homelessness has always been an “other world” phenomenon. It was something that happen “over there” when we used to read about children living on the street in India or begging for pennies in what we use to consider “third world countries.” It was something that we associated with being mentally ill, perhaps, people who “didn’t fit in” to the regimentation of having a regular job and living in a regular way. “Bums” we called them to separate ourselves from them even further, as if the warm bed we could return to at night wasn’t enough.

Now, however, many of us are being taken down a peg as we realized that, “but for the grace of G-d, go I.” People who fit in “just fine” to the system of regular jobs and regular houses are being left high and dry financially so that, all of a sudden, their regular jobs are gone and their regular house soon follows. It’s a shock. Hard to understand that we don’t have a right to own what we consider is ours.

So, now with new foreclosures and all sorts of financial losses, people who used to point fingers at those who are poverty stricken are realizing, well, gee, it can happen to anybody. It happened to me. Truly nothing is promised to us and we must learn to survive losing what we consider most dear.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness was working on helping those without a permanent address before the housing crisis and economic crunch. Now, they are in full swing easing the burden of many at every level of society and ranging from rural to urban locations. The National Alliance to End Homelessness web site has many visual aids to demonstrate the numbers and locations of homeless persons to better assess the need. For instance, this pie chart shows the geographic distribution of homeless in the United States.

Here is a Shelter Calculator that assists social workers with the relationships between shelter demand, length of stay, and minimum required shelter bed inventory. Wow! So much to think about for all those people needing comforting.

Homeless people, like any other group of individuals have varying talents and abilities when it comes to digging deep within their spirits and summoning up the endurance to pull through hard times.  A positive attitude sure helps as you can see from this woman named Pat Peplin. She wrote a song about Living at Walmart. Not only is the tune catchy, but hey, if I ever have to look to a homeless future, I’ll go live with Pat. I know where to find her. Does the National Center to End Homelessness have a geographic locator for Walmart parking lots?

Pat Peplin sings her ballad with
an endearing sense of humor.

WOW! Just what I need to find Pat! A WALMART ATLAS. If things get much worse, I’m a coming, Pat. Leave a light on!

All those who want to go live with Pat Peplin, hover your mouse over this link to preview the Pat Peplin locator:

Wal-Mart Atlas


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