Let’s take some time to think about those without homes.
I am passionate about helping people without homes, even if it’s a little bit of help. The reason is, I wasn’t far from being on the street, very confused: disordered. I can’t thank enough every single person, and doggo, in my support group who helped me navigate those wavy waters.
My plea is this, for those who have loved ones in a state of lacking ability, do everything you can to help them. Nothing more.
I see them in all mental states. They are in the parks with tents. They are charging their electronic equipment on lamp post outlets. They are swaying front to back, in the cold, eyes wide. I’ve seen smiles on all those people. Fear too, and confusion. And most of the time I walk by, giving as much as I can.
Sometimes that is a smile, sometimes it is just eye contact. Other times it is a silent thought of goodwill as I pass without a glance. There are parables about this, those that help in different ways. But it is important to remember that even if you are not solving the bigger problem, solving smaller ones count too.
The glorified we forget about the cold nights because we have a domicile with heat and gas to cook and bed. No need to feel guilty about it. No, guilt has no place here. Even for those of you who feel like you failed a loved one. Thousands of people are without a home, and everyone of them has family. Chances are almost certain that we will continue encountering this cultural problem. But, how we address it is still important.
I don’t know the way to solve the big issue, but I can define some things I know to be adding to it.
In my opinion, the fact that drugs are not decriminalized is ridiculous. Think about it this way, people will do drugs. Accept that as a fact. Those people who do drugs will do drugs regardless if the law enforces punishment or not. They will. When there is a shadow over something, like criminalizing drug use, it makes it so much harder to bring light to it. Conversations that need to be had are stifled, because if someone admits to illegal drug use, they are subject to anothers will.
We don’t know what they are going through.
Why would we allow people to feel illegal? A person does a drug, and their intoxication becomes their experience, which turns their person into a crime. Using a drug test as proof that their body, at that moment, is illegal.
Another thing is the lack of discourse in the public eye about those without homes. At least, discourse in a meaningful way. In a way that emanates from empathy, and an attempt to understand.
The challenge I propose is to go for a walk tonight, in the cold autumn air, and enjoy it. And along your walk, remember the cold when it didn’t feel good, when it penetrated your skin down to your bone. The hurt. Associate that with those without homes, and consider why they may seek, alcohol, or heroin. Consider this may be why they seek those things that warm and numb their minds, their bodies, if not for a short time.
Pray in anyway you can, and do not forget the realness of hurt and struggle. I could have been there. I think about that often. I pray for my past self to make it to where I am today. I hope that we can pray together, for those that need help now, and in the future, maybe someone’s life, someone’s life we prayed for will change. And that change will spark more change. And they may lead us to a place where we won’t need to pray out of necessity.