Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Remove the "less" from Homeless

Sometimes, from my office window, I spy them stretched out across the stone benches of the amphitheater in Kiener Plaza. Other days, as I board the bus to head downtown, they are camped out at the bus station or lined up in front of the mission just a block away, waiting for it to open.

They do not complain about black grout, weed-riddled lawns or sagging carports. They don’t even have anywhere decent to sleep much less somewhere to call home.

Not everyone who is homeless chooses to be. Some of these people have mental problems. Many of them are veterans. And others are people who – just like you and me – had jobs and homes and lives – but for some reason, they now find themselves on the street. (In this economy, it’s not a hard scenario to imagine. I think most of us are a handful of paychecks ahead of them.)

We are often a heartless society, casting away people with as little regard as the garbage we cart to the curb each week. Thankfully, that’s not always the case.

The United Nations has chosen the first Monday in October to be World Habitat Day - a day to stand up and let it be known that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere.

This year, that’s Oct. 5. You can do your part to support this cause of Habitat for Humanity by blogging, donating, or volunteering. Here are some other ways to help.

Whatever you do, do something.


Debbie said...

Thank you for a wonderful post. I will definitely check out the link.

Victoria said...

I dont know if you have this in your area, but in my area habitat for humanity runs a store where anyone can go in and purchase their extra, un-used or donated supplies from their man projects and the proceeds go right back to habitat. I really love going there, its like your helping keep the earth green by recycling stuff that would otherwise be trashed as well as helping out a wonderful cause for the needy.

karen said...

The Salvation Army is a great place to donate something to also .I used to take the homeless to and from the Salvation Army everyday. They could stay all night but had to be out by a certain time in the morning and not come back till 5pm. The idea is for them to look for work or go to docters appointments and such.Some were abused moms and wives others were sick like you said. I really got close to them. While staying at the Sal. Army you had to attend church services and you have duties to do. So it is not a free ride. But a warm bed and hot food.

Kris said...

NV - The store Victoria is talking about is called the Habitat ReStore - I go there a lot to check things out. I also worked on the first womens build here in my hometown in 2007. The house was built from the ground up by all woman - it was an awesome experience!! And we built it for another women with two children - I cried a lot the day they dedicated the house. Thanks for putting the information out there - everyone can do something to help. It doesn't always cost $.

NV said...

Debbie -- Thanks! As a homeowner, you can now put yourself in the land of the lucky column. :-)

Victoria -- Yes. There is a resell store in St. Louis. Not sure if it's Habitat or not. I've driven by but I need to go in one of these days!

Karen -- I take stuff to the Salvation Army regularly. They're a good group, too.

Kris -- Yes. I've heard about the Restores. I think there is one in St. Louis but I haven't been.

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