One of the most challenging aspects of my job is dealing with homeless people and trying to live in their unit. It’s a huge no-no. I’ve had to evict a couple of people for this action, and it never gets easier. This statement is true, especially when snowstorms come within the next twenty-four hours. One of my tenants has had difficulty finding permanent housing, and some of the non-profits she’s contacting have turned her away for various reasons. Life has not been kind to her. Her children are grown and stolen most of her possessions and money. They won’t help her because they can barely help themselves. She has a dog that is a service dog and has lost so much hope in the world. She doesn’t know how she will get from one point to another, yet knows that there is more to life than what she’s living. She’s now evicted from her home and has a short time to get out and lives with no power. She never knows where she’ll sleep and has medical issues from one minute to the next. She’s medically disabled, and her self-esteem is gone. She’s one of the millions that the world casts aside every day. The question for her is, “Where will home be when there’s no home that exists for me?”
Many of us take for granted the roof over our heads. Those who have shelter don’t think about being out in the harsh elements, trying to survive with no place to call home. Folks struggle daily to figure out where and what they will eat or if they even get any food at all. When confronted when someone is down on their luck, many people ignore them. They have little to no tolerance for them. I have a friend who has traveled all over the United States. Each time he has had no home to go to, he’s gone where God led him, and often he’s encountered numerous shelters. One of the things he told me was people don’t expect to find themselves homeless. Without planning and a little luck, some folks encounter bad luck and can’t seem to catch a break no matter what they do.
If you’ve ever watched the movie “Homeless to Harvard,” you will see how Liz Murray beat the odds of homelessness and obtained an education through Harvard. It wasn’t easy because she encountered many trials and tribulations along the way. Her actions put her in a tiny percentage of success stories. Sometimes people need a break. Without others to help them get on their feet, they don’t know how to change the pattern.
With this weather getting so cold, I hope you take a moment to be grateful for the blessings you have because our circumstances can change in a second. Life teaches us that our events may not always be what we want, but we have the power to help others change their lives for the better. Most people want a home. Not everyone does. Some folks are content living on the streets, and they are survivors in every sense of the word. But if you do have a roof over your head, be grateful that you find shelter from the elements of nature. Getting out of the bitter wind and biting cold can not only save lives but gives a person a deep appreciation for the shelter from the storms.
We may not understand why people end up in homeless situations, but we don’t have to be part of the problem. It’s the little things like a pair of warm socks, or gloves, maybe a meal, and in some cases, shelter assistance that helps people during rough times. After all, if the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn’t you appreciate it if someone helped you? Be grateful for the little things in life and cherish your home. Most of us take things for granted and don’t realize heat, shelter, food, and clothing are a luxury to those who can’t afford life’s essentials. Have a great day, everyone.