The homeless population is growing due to our apathy

have we forgotten our poor in the process of worrying about other countries?

Homelessness in the United States

          So many more and more people are finding themselves in this terrible plight not out of choice but out of the effects of our economy and, the apathy towards this problem.  I have had the opportunity to speak with many homeless people that I’ve met while I was in the same boat myself, and later during my experience volunteering at the few places that actually do offer minimal assistance to them.  First of all many of them are elderly, physically or mentally disabled or both, displaced workers that have found themselves without a job and without a home, not to mention all the young adults who have either been raised in a system that has took them from their abusive or neglected home at an early age and have come of age and been sent out in to the world to attempt to fend for themselves right at 18 and many of them without having ever finishing high school.

          I try to encourage them to seek out the few resources that are offered to them here in Sacramento yet due to budget cuts such services are severely dwindling.   Some of these people have the desire to work and due to the circumstances they are facing the way out seems bleaker and bleaker the longer they remain unable to work due to not having a place to shower and a safe place to lay their head at night.

          Now I must give credit where credit is due and say that Sacramento CA has some of the best services and resources for homeless people that I have ever seen. In other parts of the country or state even. However we are not the only city who have the problem of homelessness, and despite the support system this city has attempted to provide it still isn’t enough. 

          For example there is this great non- profit organization called Women’s Empowerment that operates out of another organization that helps homeless people called Loaves & Fishes, and while it is a wonderful resource for the women in the homeless community that provides help with creating a resume, interviewing skills, learning some computer skills, interview clothes, and informing these women of employment, housing & legal resources in our community, they get a mentor volunteer from the community to assist them during the 12 or 16 week process and sometimes  just hearing other success stories of women who participated in the program and are now thriving in our community is the hope they need to see that they can do it too.

           It has become blatantly obvious to me that there is a definite and desperate need for a counterpart non-profit organization to help the males in that same community, I’m aware of at least 15 to 25 males young and old that if they had a resume or some help with interviewing skills, housing resources, or interview clothes and resources like Women’s Empowerment provides would greatly benefit and impact their lives for the better.

          Yes there are some who have chosen this lifestyle of camping on the river for the rest of their lives and then there are the Alcoholics and Drug addicts who have lost everything to their addiction and well where can you go from there but up right? But where are the treatment facilities for recovery that help you even if you are not insured and have no income. I know only of one or two treatment places like that and one of them is Clean and Sober that runs out of Loaves and Fishes they are over worked and always have a waiting list of 3 to 6 months wait before you can even think of getting a bed.  They see thousands sign up in their office per year but when it comes to how many they are able to actually place in one it’s barely 50 to 100 people per year. And if you hear the success stories of the individuals that continue to succeed after the program you would all realize that every little effort made to help has made a difference in many lives.

           Next time you are enjoying an air-conditioned afternoon watching TV. Or a nice home-cooked meal  pray for all our nations homeless and do something anything it’s so much better than simply ignoring the problem like it’s not even there.  It very much is and its time we begin to care about our backyard before sending assistance abroad.