The topic of homelessness is first addressed in my title, Hoss
Homelessness is a real issue in the U.S., as well as other countries around the globe. In the U.S., families make up about thirty-five percent of the total sheltered homeless population. Most are single-parent families headed by women, making up more than eighty percent of all sheltered homeless families. At least sixty percent of sheltered homeless women have children, but only sixty-five percent live with at least one of them. Families broken.
Please note the use of the word “sheltered” in those statistics, because these are the ones we know about. The ones who are lucky enough to find safe beds, warm meals, and helping hands. These figures do not count the most vulnerable families, the ones separated from society, subject to predators, and living in tent cities, automobiles, motels, or on the street.
More than four million single parent families in America were homeless in 2013. All studies indicate that figure has only grown in the intervening years. In large urban areas the evidence is painfully present on the street and asleep on park benches or in doorways every day, but even small, rural towns are not exempt as families struggle with finances, health issues, job loss, or any combination of the three. Homelessness can be just one financial misstep away.
Resources can be difficult to track down when you don’t have stable housing, which opens the door, giving us all a chance to help, even if we cannot afford to assist monetarily. Simply being familiar with the opportunities in your area can allow you to become that desperately needed alternative resource.
For someone struggling to keep their family together, to lift themselves up and keep from drowning under the weight of it all, seeing your outstretched giving, helping hand can mean so much. Take a moment and become that supportive shoulder, give yourself a chance to hold out that caring hand. It can matter more than you might ever know. We’re all in this together, trying to make our way as best we can. Help make that process a little easier for someone. Become the brother, sister, or friend they didn’t know they had.
For more information about homelessness in your region of the U.S., and to find resources to help combat it, please check out the following resources: