The New Homeless

I ran across this piece a couple of weeks ago while researching. The context is Seminole County (Central Florida). Jo and I lived in Seminole County on two separate occasions in the shadow of the Mouse. Born and raised in Central Florida, I recognized the landscape. I know the exact location of the school mentioned in the report. As I listened to the stories, my heart ached. Listen to the statistics for yourself. See the faces of children, the conditions, and the challenges faced on a daily basis. Listen to the fears of the parents. I’m amazed at the resolve and resourcefulness. The face of homelessness is real and changing. People in crisis don’t necessarily make good decisions. Eviction leads to temporary housing. Friends are the first exhaust; it gets old pretty fast. The next stop is a cheap motel. The inability to pay daily or weekly rates leaves a family with no choice but to choose other limited options like an automobile. Survival is now daily. Shelters are full. Public housing waiting lists are extensive. Deposit and fee requirements price apartments beyond reach. Misfortune fosters the cycle of homeless plight. So what do we do? We must do something! It can’t be swept under a carpet nor ignored. We must choose to embrace people in crisis and need. My mind immediately thinks of CARITAS (a local Richmond effort) helping people move from shelter to stability. It’s an example of creativity in bridging the gap – making a difference. How else can we adequately address the homeless epidemic?