IT'S ON THE WALL NOW DO UNTO ALL
Homelessness—What Is Behind It?
“WORLDWIDE there are over 100 million homeless people,” reports the United Nations. If that figure is accurate, then 1 human in every 60 or so is without adequate shelter! Still, the real scope of the problem is hard to assess. Why?
Definitions of homelessness vary from one part of the world to another. The approaches and aims of those who study the problem influence the way they define it. Their definition, in turn, affects the statistics they publish. So it is difficult, if not impossible, to get an accurate overview of the problem.
The book Strategies to Combat Homelessness, published by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, defines homelessness as the condition of “not having an acceptable level of housing provision. It would include all states below what may be regarded as adequate” for the society in which the homeless live. Some may dwell on the streets or occupy derelict or abandoned buildings, while others might find shelter in hotels. Still others find temporary accommodation with friends. In any case, says the same study: “To classify someone as homeless indicates a state in which ‘something must be done’ for the victim of such circumstances.”
Since homelessness is widespread, someone you know may be affected by it. The plight of the homeless raises a number of questions. How did these people come to be without adequate housing? How do they get by? Who helps them? And what does the future hold for the homeless?
Awake Magazine 2005
Yes I copied the above info word for word because I could not say it better. But in the rest of this article I very much do. Because you can't impress upon the minds of people enough what is taking place in the lives of many and how their entire worlds can be turned upside down over night. And our children don't understand but they still have to experience so much.
National Center for Homeless Education
- NCHE - McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
McKinney-Vento supports and encourages our young children and youth that are experiencing homelessness.
HOMELESS VETERANS GOOD DEEDS
Homeless Reasons That
Are Beyond Their Control
As a school bus driver I come into contact with many young people that are in and out of homeless situation after situation. The number of homeless children attending schools is Astronomical. And the reasons are varied.
Many are homeless because of unexpected job loss. Others are homeless because of living in an abusive environment therefore choosing to go without proper housing in order to stay alive. Then there are those homeless because the cost of living demands are more than their monthly earnings. If you are a single parent just the cost of child care can wipe you out. And you know the daycare provider is going to get theirs because they don’t want to end up out on the streets. Tyler Perry’s movie “Meet the Browns” depicts two of the above mentioned.
Although all concluded much like a fairy tale, one big happy ending, for some there is no happy ending. They go through mental depression, thoughts of suicide, for many they see no light at the end of the tunnel. You also have so, so many homeless because of natural disaster which I covered in another Hub about Disaster Preparedness.
Where do the Homeless Seek Shelter
Some sleep in train stations, bus depots, park benches, stairwells, as portrayed in the true to life story of Mr. Chris Gardner played by Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happiness”. The sleep in cellars, with friends or family members and those two locations are and believe me when I say temporary and come with immediate evictions. I seen so many children ride my bus on week and were thrown right back out in the streets the following week.
The problem there is that personalities clash and the children don’t always get alone with one another. The adults even fight over money. So, sometimes the assistance doesn’t always come because of concern for the ones that are homeless, but the concern of oneself. And, last but not least, homeless people also choose to live under bridges and under bridges was one of the main reasons I wanted to write this Hub.
Back during the school year maybe about September 2013, myself along with my Monitor every morning around 6:30am we would notice when crossing over the White River bridge on Raymond Street a small pickup truck parked under the bridge and a tent pitched near the water. Well we thought that was strange to see that same truck parked there every day. What we found out later was that it was a homeless family, Father, Mother, and 3 Children living under there and that several other families were living under bridges as well in different parts of Indiana. Why? Because they had all been victimized by one of the above mentioned circumstances and had nowhere else to go.
We have a street in the city which will remain nameless to protect the innocent, but just this week in the news was a neighborhood complaint about some of the homeless population living on the south side of Indianapolis under the bridge which is a long stretch of territory. Some of the residents were complaining about the smell and that they wanted them to be ran out. Now mind you that particular location on the south side has always had a slightly unpleasant odor because of being located so close to the south side chemical Factories, and the dumps as well as there being a major sewage disposal plant and recycling companies in the area. Yet, they want to say the area stinks now because of the homeless. That is just outright mean. I do understand their concern is really their safety but call what it is, don’t label the people filthy as though they live like animals. What I saw was not the case it looked tidy and the people did not look dirty. I did not want to request that they allow me to video them because of the right to privacy and to keep them safe.
Well guess what. The city stated that they had no intention of requesting the homeless to move out and they wanted everyone to feel safe within their own environment. I smiled as I watched the patrol car slowly driving through the small community of Homeless checking on their well being.
A Change of Funding Regulations That Help Not Those In Need
Now this is the final straw that broke the camel’s back that inspired me to write this Hub and I’m mad about it too. Of which I do my best work when mad.
I recently witnessed at the Trustee office I won’t mention which one because they all practice the same unjustifiable laws or procedures, so the location don’t really matter. Anyway a young woman came in the office asking if they had her check ready. She was told No, and that she should have called first. Then the Trustee representative asked her did she have her portion of the money. The young woman stated no not yet. So, Ms. Trustee responded with, before she could hand over the check she had to give proof of her amount requested. The young woman turned and walked away sad and with tears in her eyes.
Now who cries if they are just scamming somebody out of money? That was rhetorical. What if. Yes I’m going to lay on you a What If scenario. What if she had the money coming but the means for getting that money was not going to be available to her until let’s say some time after 4:00pm. Now the Trustee office closes at 5:00 but she was trying to get a jump on things. And one more what if, she also promised to have the money in to the bill collector, of which by the way was Citizens Gas before they close which is 6:00. Now she made that promise based off the phone call that she received from the Trustee of being approved though they never told her all the necessary requirements to handing over the check, and because she had never dealt with them before, she knew not what to ask. Citizens Gas placed her disconnection on hold, based on the promise that now, looks to be broken. So the end result is her gas ends up being disconnected and before she can get it turned back on she will have to now come up with a deposit along with the bill. Did anybody think about how that would affect the young ladies situation?
No! Because people who don’t know or maybe don’t care enough about how your shoes fit will ask for your shoe laces. That means you have to jump through hoops without straps and your already worn out soles.
I once visited a food pantry in my neighborhood because I was out of work and the unemployment office had without any prior notice placed in effect a seasonal worker clause that prevented the bus drivers off during the summer to draw unemployment benefits. Well, I woke up that morning with one thing in mind and that was going to get some food for my cabinet and refrigerator that was very much empty. I started to dress down because I was told by a sister in the faith a long time ago that people you clean for don’t want to see that you have anything. That was true because a woman that I use to clean for had a son that out grew his cloths that just so happened to fit one of my boys. And they were nice cloths but she chose to throw them out instead of giving them to me for my child. Sad disposition is it not? Well back to the food pantry. I decided because I represent the Most High God in the entire universe that I was going to dress appropriately and bring praise and honor to his name. Nothing fancy I just wanted to appear neat and allow my appearance to speak decent.
This is what happened. I entered the place and the lady at the desk asked me how could she help me? I told her that I needed food. She went on to give me this lie and I tell you in a minute why it was a lie. She said. We don’t have any food. As a matter of fact we haven’t had any food all week. Something in my heart told me that she was not being truthful. I then said how can you turn me away and not even refer me to another place that could possibly assist me. I’m diabetic and therefore I need to eat in order to maintain my sugar levels. She had no response to that at all. Just as I was about to walk away from the desk, the lady that was vacuuming the floor and cleaning the glass doors said hold on ma’am I will get you something if you can just wait a few minutes. I said, I can and I’ll wait as long as it takes and thank you. I waited 15 minutes but the woman came out once to reassure me that she was working on it. I said no problem I’m patient.
When she finally came to deliver her promise she appeared with 3 bags of groceries and 2 bags of toiletries. I hadn’t even thought about that and I was low on all of it. I thanked her with big old crocodile tears and a hug. When I reached for the bags she stopped me refusing to let me carry any of the items. She carried everything for me to my car and then said hold on I have a little more. She went back inside and came out with some paper towels and a few more can goods.
Now let me tell you how God works if you don't already know. I had been craving for some tuna salad all week long though nobody knew that but God. I ended up with 8 cans of tuna salad and not generic although I would have eaten it because I’m not picky. So even though people do exist out there that don’t understand your circumstances nor can they relate to them at all, there is always somebody somewhere who really and truly care and is willing to go above and beyond to help you.
Oh one more thing. The Trustee office has placed in effect that same old seasonal worker clause which allows them to turn you away empty handed and that too contributes to the Homeless population. They feel that with your part time wages that only pays your monthly expenses and you prove to them with documentation of how your income is budgeted month to month and that you have nothing left over, they still feel that you should have something leftover to place in an escrow account whether you qualified for escrow or not. So many are now more than ever turned away with nowhere else to go because they want you to survive on escrow. That sounds like death row. Sorry I had a revelation.
I know personally of at least five people that have died recently from heart attacks brought on by the stress of losing their homes, or jobs due to no fault of their own. One of my friends was admitted to the hospital because she was having symptoms of a heart attack but it turned out to be diagnosed as stress although her Doctor said she needed to work on it or it would lead to a heart attack.
Yes, these types of stressful circumstances can weigh you down but we can all do our part though many already have. But we need to be more conscious of the fact that we don’t know everything going on that causes people to end up homeless. But this one thing for sure, that everywhere someone is in need of help with whatever they are troubled with. Be it just someone to catch their tears by giving them a listening ear. So, in the words of Ms. Diana Ross, “REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEBODIES HAND”
Thank YOU once again I needed to left off some steam. Your Happiness is just a block away.
“Jerusalem has remembered [in] the days of her affliction and of her homeless people
All her desirable things that happened to be from days of long ago.
When her people fell into the hand of the adversary and she had no helper,
The adversaries saw her. They laughed over her collapse.”
“ Is it not the dividing of your bread out to the hungry one, and that you should bring the afflicted, homeless people into [your] house?”
In this case let that house be your hearts.
- New study finds Indianapolis homelessness increasing - 13 WTHR Indianapolis
A study finds the city's homeless population to be anywhere from 4,800 to 8,000.