by: Rita Duponty
In my prior post, Who Have You Helped Today?, I can’t help but wonder if it struck a chord. No doubt, for the most part, those able to read an online blog have access to a computer and the comfort of a warm dwelling and food in their belly. For the homeless, however, life is a lot rougher. Where will I sleep? What will I eat? Does anybody really care? Who cries for me? Or, what hope is there that I will get out of this deep hole I have fallen into? Who would believe my story?
Every homeless person has a story. The recent news coverage of Ted Williams has brought his amazing story to light. According to the national news, Ted Williams, a homeless man was discovered in Columbus, Ohio because someone took the time to listen to his story. Ted had been trained as a radio announcer but fell into hard times. He honestly let the world know that he is now clean and sober for two years. What’s so special you might think? His voice is a broadcaster’s dream. Once you hear it, you’ll know what I mean. The media broadcast Ted’s voice and jobless situation nationally. As a result, job prospects and greater opportunities flooded his way. His life has already changed dramatically—a new beginning.
The “homeless” are people that should be cared about with dignity and respect. We all have problems; some that we would like to keep personal. However, their problems are a lot more visible; we might say “for the world to see.” I personally had the opportunity of knowing many that were homeless in Key West, Florida. Many of them explained to me how they got into their situation. Each story was different, and most were credible. Their situations stemmed from job loss, poor decisions, bad health, and at times addiction.
Although many of the homeless rested in shelters; a good portion did not. Also, quite a few had jobs with low paying wages but never enough to pull them out of the financial pit they were in. You can certainly understand how easy it is to fall into such a financial crisis. Many of us today live from pay to pay—despite all good intentions.
The homeless also suffer depression and loneliness. Some are beat up by teenagers; while others have been targeted and killed. Not a pretty picture in a so-called modern-civilization.
Despite all their problems though, the homeless can at times lift your spirits. My friends were still able to laugh and smile. Most of them had a good sense of humor…and, they were great conversationalists! Through knowing them, I came to appreciate to a greater degree that all people are “valuable people.”
Interestingly, the National Law Center on Homeless and Poverty in 2007 estimated 3.5 million people (1.35 million of them children) are likely to experience homelessness in a given year. That was 2007!