Sunday, March 16, 2014

An Old Man's Winter Night

What's the first thing you think of when you see a homeless kid on the street? 
Where are their parents? Why aren't they in school? Am I about to get robbed?
What so you feel?
Pity? Sadness? Anger? Fear?

Well, guess what? If you thought or felt anything, you are in the minority. Most of us see or think or feel nothing when we walk past a homeless kid, because we don't even see them.

We have taught ourselves to simply keep on walking, riding or driving. We don't see homeless people. They are invisible.

Scholars, politicians and others invariably have strong opinions on the subject, but let me offer my humble opinion: It's risky to care.And because it's risky, because we scare ourselves out of reaching out, we cultivate a tunnel vision that allows go about our business, blind and deaf to the misery around us. And misery it is.
Help Covenant House help a homeless teenager

Every Year, More Than 2 Million Kids in America Will Face a Period of Homelessness

Behind the face of every homeless young person is another heartbreaking story – a teenage boy abused by his alcoholic parent, a pregnant girl rejected by her guardian, or a teenager trying to escape gang membership or a life of forced prostitution.
In case after case, the main cause of youth homelessness is physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse from parents or guardians.
The facts about homelessness are staggering ... but acknowledging the depth of the problem is the first step in fixing it.
  • 57% of homeless kids spend at least one day every month without food.
  • In the United States, as many as 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution by human trafficking networks every year.
  • According to a study of youth in shelters, nearly 50% reported intense conflict or physical harm by a family member as a major contributing factor to their homelessness.
  • More than 25% of former foster children become homeless within two to four years of leaving the system.
  • 50% of adolescents aging out of foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months because they are unprepared to live independently and have limited education and no social support.
  • Almost 40% of the homeless in the United States are under 18.
I will be acknowledging the problem by sleeping on the streets of New York City on March 21st. Please acknowledge the problem by joining me. If you can't do it in person, please do it by making a donation to Covenant House.They have been helping homeless kids since 1972.

Covenant House Sleepout NYC 3/21/2014