Over the holidays my daughters
shared with me a song illuminating
the plight of the homeless. You
can hear the song by clicking on
this link or typing it into a browser:
This touched my heart. Listening to
it galvanized my thoughts into researching
the extent of this problem in America and in
Wisconsin. The problem is enormous. It does not have
to be if we all face it together.
Just think for a moment. When did you last miss a
meal? When did you last sleep outside on a bench or in
a park? Hopefully your answers are “can’t remember”
and “never” respectively. But for some among us, the
answer is “recently” or “today.”
According to the Department of Housing and Urban
Development, over a half a million people are homeless
in our country; in Wisconsin the number is nearly 5,000.
Homelessness means not having a secure roof to sleep
under nor knowing where the next day’s meals are coming
from. These are people from all walks of life. Some
had strings of bad luck. Some are veterans who fought
for our freedom but couldn’t assimilate back into previous
lives. Some have lost out because of the dramatic
changes that have taken place in the workplace over the
past few decades.
It’s hard to believe that in this magnificent country
of ours so many people are invisible and left behind.
While it’s hard to change the world overnight, we can
at least try to change it in our own backyard by taking
some form of responsibility whether financial or otherwise.
Please consider donating your time and money to
the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness and/or
to your local food pantry or homeless shelter. Let’s all
take responsibility and address the plight of the homeless
here in Wisconsin.
We can lead the way for other states to follow in eradicating
homelessness in America.
Patrick J. Wood