By Gianni Risper
Eastern High School
13 years old
Homelessness is a quiet epidemic that has swept sweeping our nation like influenza. Homelessness, doesn’t start inside but that is where you start to die when you become homeless.
Homelessness is the term used for people without proper shelter or beds.The people we call bums, ones that ask you, “Can you spare some change?”
Some of the homeless you could almost pick out instantly from a crowd. Matted hair, bad teeth, threadbare clothes.
Recently I traveled to a bridge under busy Oakland Avenue in Lansing, MI. Many of you know the street but hardly any know of the hardships the people face who live underneath the bridge.
Against the winter chill, they fight for space like ravenous dogs. These people are the untouchables. No one cares about them.
Some say homeless people are that way because they made themselves that way. But the same people who make these statements will also a homeless person in the eye and with a sincere look and say,
”No, I am sorry, I don’t have any change.” And they walk away from a man or woman that was dealt a bad hand in life with a fat wallet in their purse or pocket.
Many of these people are the butt of jokes, those who have the shorter end of the stick, those who fate does not smile on. I myself have made jokes like these.
In my youth jokes were made such as “Go to your box!” but for those whose children are afflicted by homelessness this may be reality for homeless children. Can you imagine, carrying your life on your back because your parents lost your home? Those children who were born to parents already homeless are sometimes lost to the foster care system. It is even harder those children above school age. Most homeless parents cannot support their children or find it too difficult to survive on the streets so the children may go Into foster care?
Some children are destined never to see their parents again, their parents will drift and wander around this vast country or some of them die from this homeless epidemic.
In my opinion, no one cares about homelessness, but it keeps rearing its ugly head and our society just keeps beating it with a stick until goes into hiding. We end up fearing its return knowing it will resurface just to spite us.
Places like the New Hope Day Center, The Volunteers of America and Advent House Ministries cannot bankroll these programs by themselves forever. Programs for the homeless need to be in the budget so that they can get a cut to help the homeless people so the next some guy asks you for spare change give if you have it. He just might need it more than you.