helping the homeless is more than words and ten year plans. it's more than collecting data and formulating a budget or coordinated effort among the various coalitions that exist among our advocacies and agencies that were founded to help the homeless but often are long on words and short on results. it's very easy to talk about doing more than we actually do and to speak about results and expected outcomes when in reality we are accomplishing very little at an extremely high cost. we become bloated with words and data and statistics while the reality of things are that the homeless are still increasing and hunger is spreading. we are not living by our own measurements of success when it comes to the homeless and the poor.
at times we all find ourselves in the position of being a survivor of something. soldiers returning from war, patients who survive cancer, the death of a loved one. we survive...and we're not quite sure why. if we stand where others have fallen, it should be to raise our hand and grasp the arm of another that has fallen beside us and help them survive. today America has survived one of the most devastating recessions and slowest recoveries this country has seen. many have fallen....but many have also survived. and in these times and within those people are the keys to ending homelessness, hunger and poverty in America. but also within these survivors is the question....should we help? the question still lingers... has America during its economic struggles lost its compassion and willingness to help those around us. in reading different articles and the such I find a lot of people speaking in anger and frustration and even ignorance about the reasons we shouldn't help. all too often we speak these reasons and it shows how truly broken the American spirit is. the...some can and others can't....attitude is becoming all to prevalent in today's society and today's political arena. while it may be true that some can and some can't...there is still the ability for everyone to try and that opportunity should be available to all...even if it requires some guidance and assistance along the path.
in a world of ever present social media and instant awareness of every news or non news event in America it's very easy to formulate an argument and compile a compelling case against helping the homeless and the poor. it's very easy to gather instances of abuse and people who game the system that is designed to help these individuals. we are continually confronted with details of fraud and the waste of tens of millions of dollars not only by recipients but by administrators of social programs. this wave of information has become so prevalent that it has invaded our political process and governmental decision making to the point of being a near accepted valid point of argument when it comes to funding for the homeless and poor.
the real question that cuts right to the center of the debate on social spending and programs designed to help the homeless and poor goes beyond government programs. it goes beyond budgets and political agendas and the loud, empty words of politicians. it goes to us...as individuals and what we believe America is today. it cuts right to our own cities and communities and to us as shareholders and keepers of those communities. it's not a question of should we help the homeless and the poor. it's a question of can we afford not to help them. can we afford not to help to lift our neighbors out of a financial struggle. can we afford not to end homelessness for the sake of the next generation. can we afford not to end hunger in the richest country on this planet. can we afford...not only financially , but spiritually and morally to continue to accept homelessness, hunger and those struggling to keep food on their table and a roof over their head.
I am a survivor of homelessness. was I worth the expense and the effort to help bring me out of being homeless and back into what is considered the mainstream of society? are the remaining 700 or so homeless individuals remaining in Wilmington worth the expense and the effort to bring them too out of being homeless? are the children who wake up every morning and go to bed every evening wondering if they will have food tomorrow worth our collective effort? are the individuals in your own community worth your time, your effort and your money to help them off the streets and back into your community? if you can't answer or hesitate too long to think about this question then the answer is probably no.
if we truly want to rebuild America to the strong, proud country that we all know it once was and could be again, I think the anchor of that rebuilding process should be to answer the question....should we help our homeless, our poor and our tired. this, is what the grand lady of new York stated to the people flooding to this country decades ago and perhaps should be the statement we all make today.during election time politicians answer this question loudly and often with grand gestures and speeches, both in the affirmative and negative only to have other perceived priorities overshadow this question shortly after the polls close. the answer should be a resounding, clear, loud yes...we should help. it's our duty and our obligation and perhaps our own salvation as a nation. it's a question we shouldn't and can't afford to make the next generation have to answer..
see you around town