What are we really doing about the city’s rising homeless population? It seems to be there are more folks who are out on the streets, in our parks and our street intersections. Why is this? Who is helping? When does it get to be a large enough issue for the city to decide that enough is enough and help these people instead of putting them aside.

We are in one of the most prosperous cities in America, yet have a rising homeless rate. We have women and children, veterans, elderly & people who were doing very well until the bubble burst in 2008-2009. They lost everything, homes, cars, families, dignity, self-worth, etc. Yet we do not seem to have enough programs to help people with making sure they are able to attain jobs that help them with the basics to survive. We cannot continue to sweep these people under the carpet and pretend they don’t exist.

The amount of help is not nearly enough for people. The services are too few and not easily accessible to all, you need to have an address, phone number or other information that may not be easily accessible. We have to get out and talk to these people, hear their stories and understand. Take them things they may need, not on certain days of the year, but be giving all year throughout.

We should always remember that this could have easily been yourself and your family. The one rule is we are all one paycheck from being in the same situation.  Stop turning away from the situation because you don’t like what you see, instead ask a veteran what you can do to help them.  Buy a meal, coffee, pass out water.  Ask a mother who has her kids on the intersection hungry what she needs, how can you help her get through the day.  As a society, should you keep ignoring the crisis that is growing or do you step up and help out?  Why keep throwing good money at horrible ideas or unnecessary items, instead of making improvements to the help the citizens of the city.  Make them comfortable and proud of where they live and let them know they have self-worth.

Where do we begin to get the ball rolling to put proper measures in place.  How do we make a way for women/children/elderly to feel safe?  Shelters need to be a safe environment, free of potential offenders & abusers.  A place that will allow for kids to learn in pre-school, have tutoring for school age kids, homework centers & labs.  Work training for adults so that they are able to have a way to keep their skills up or learn a new trade.  It will give them a sense of security and an address to have for employers.

Ask yourself – What if it were you or your family?  What are you willing to do to help?  Why don’t you do more to help?  Are you asking the homeless if they are ok?

Talk to your local city council members about the issues within your neighborhood regarding homeless services or mental help.  Keep going up the chain until you are being heard or getting your questions answered.  We shouldn’t see this as a way of life for any person.