Thursday, January 30, 2014

Being homeless is inhumane

As I sit here in my chair with my coffee in my hand, I am watching a beautiful sunrise and thanking God for the sun and warmth. The United States have been cold this winter in this area of the country and I know many others have as well. We have had several snows that have made travel treacherous and everywhere I go I hear someone say, " I will be glad when winter is over". I have said it myself, but I also catch myself being thankful for the warm home that I am in.

Recently, my brother has been homeless. Yes, homeless is a scary word to myself and I am sure many of you reading this. He has yet to have to stay on the street , but he has struggled with where he will stay and how he will pay for another room at a local hotel. Some churches have helped and the United Way is currently helping him, but the county that he is in just is not very resourceful when it comes to those who are homeless.

He is willing to work, but he has had some legal trouble in his past and that haunts him. He also does not have drivers' license, which makes it hard for him to get back and forth to work. I am sure that many employers see that as a risk to them that he is not dependable. Plus, he has always done masonry work and other outside work and so he is not experienced in much other type work.

His situation has really made me think about the homeless in many places. No one should ever be without a home and utilities as long as they are willing to do something to help themselves. There are local, state, and federal parks which could use some extra help that there is not government funding for that these people could work in for some assistance in a place to live and be warm. There are so many places that I believe we could allow these people to work for basic necessities. Each county should have a place where people could stay out of the weather and each county should have a program which allows these people to work in exchange for room. I know many towns have local hotels that are no longer in an area where travelers stay a lot and these would be the perfect place for these people to stay. Maybe the towns offer some kind of payment or tax break for these hotels to hold half of there rooms for this type of situations.

We have faced temperatures that have been below zero and wind chills that have been near 40 below and I can't imagine not having a warm place to sleep in that type of weather. Homeless people are in every city and these people deserve some humane treatment. The next time you see someone standing with a sign asking for help, maybe consider stopping and handing them a warm drink or sandwich. Many would be thankful for even a dollar sandwich that was warm or if you know of a church or something that might be willing to help, offer that advice. These people might not be lazy or just asking for a handout, they might really need some help.

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