The homeless epidemic: real or journalistic sensationalism?
by Renee Crosby
Is homelessness in our country really an epidemic, or is the media just making a big stink out of it for journalistic sensationalism?
You tell me. What are your thoughts? Here is something for you to think about: In America based on an average classroom size of 30, in every state, in every city, in every town, in every school, in every classroom, there is one homeless student. (http://new.homelesschildreneamerica.org/mediadocs/275.pdf)
Well if that is not enough for us to classify homelessness as an epidemic in our country—then I don’t know what is. Let’s get a visual, shall we?
“For baseball games, Yankee Stadium seats 50,287. If all the homeless people who now live in New York City used the stadium for a gathering, several thousand of them would have to stand.”- source http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/10/28/hidden-city
Realistically, nothing I can say or show you can convict your heart to ponder the homeless in our country. You probably already believe we have a problem or you don’t. So, I will cut to the chase. What are we to do? What do you think we should do? How can we help? Who should be helping? Is this a government evaluation of social programs and their effectiveness? Is it a charity issue of taking from the haves and giving to the have nots? Is this about not giving a man a fish, but teaching him how to fish?
Well, all I can say is that if you don’t know much about the homeless and the life of a homeless person, maybe it’s time to take a peek into their world to try to figure out what if anything can be done.
In my book The Fringe- A Secret Society, one homeless woman comes to break the silence and mystery of their world. She shares true stories of those she met living as a homeless woman on the run from an abuser. In the end, as she learns about their plight, she hopes to build a bridge between the ignorance of society to their private world with compassion and awareness for who they are.
Words are puny without action, and that’s why I probably shouldn’t comment. But I do want to commend you for your posts, because I wouldn’t have known the gravity of the problem otherwise. Your statistics are easily retained in memory, and that’s good. However, it is scandalous to have so many homeless in this land of plenty. Jesus said, “I was a stranger, and you took me in” (Matt. 25). And even He was “homeless” for a while! I will pray about my own involvement, but I don’t “see” the problem in my area. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem, however.
God bless you,
I doubt “homelessness” is sensationalized. While some are forced into it, there are many who have chosen that lifestyle. The “homeless” problem is many faceted. If someone is hiding from an abuser, they would not want to be found. Some prefer to live on the streets. Some are ill, and cannot hold down a job. I do have a dilemma in my thinking with, I was a stranger, and ye took me in. It is dangerous to pick up hitchhikers, stop to help someone with car trouble, invite a stranger into your home, stop to greet a stranger on the street. We teach our children and young people that it is dangerous to talk to strangers. They are being raised to be afraid of and to ignore strangers. Can we say that Christ understands that we can no longer follow His command? Perhaps this instruction would apply: Do your work while it is day; the night is coming when no man can work. Has the “night” when we can’t always follow Christ’s command come to America?
Homelessness is a conundrum – for some, it is a choice and for others, chance. We should absolutely help families with children. All who accept help should work or show willingness to work to improve their situations. This book sounds like a good read before volunteering t o help!