Children? Homeless? That’s Like So Under My Radar

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This past spring I was biking to work, and saw something that I had never quite seen, but in the back of my mind, I knew it was happening, but I was living in my bubble, enjoying life….

A couple, homeless, folding up their stuff and rising off the ground, as my bike continued to move forward, something came into view that broke my heart, the couple’s teenage daughter (or middle schooler) was dusting herself off, putting on her back pack and preparing to go to school. I instantly broke into tears, my mind racing with thoughts.

I love riding my bike because it exposes me to the world, better than any car ride, you see all the beautiful scenery, animals, so up close and personal; and it’s sweet and enjoyable. However, this particular access to the world is very hard to bear, and brought a cruel reality of juvenile homelessness. Going to middle and high school is hard enough being a regular kid, as my mind continued to race, I imagined being homeless and trying to go to school, crying harder and harder, almost to the point of uncontrollable sobs. The frivolous and care-free life of a child, she could and would not experience.  If you educated yourself about that  the plight of juvenile homelessness, you would learn that a large number of kids who don’t even have a family with them.

So why I am talking about this, I mean clearly this isn’t another post about how people don’t care. I mean if you were to ask the average person, they would care about homeless children on the street, right? They would care and have some sort of emotion, maybe even a strong emotional reaction, except the most heartless of Americans. What amazes me is the lack of initiative towards an issue that a solution to some degree could at least reduce homelessness amongst children. This solution would be more attainable than say a number of other issues. We still choose to argue about abortion and rape, gun control, and healthcare. Issues such as these have been decided (and based on they way America is looking, are not changing anytime soon).

But issues that often go under the radar, unfortunately, are the ones that warrant a real discussion, because at least to some degree, there is a level of agreement. Chris Christie recently had a talk about drug addiction, just an example of a issue that is often under the radar, when almost 10% of Americans are addicted to drugs. (source)  There are local governments; prosecutors trying their best to fight the ills of drug use frequently, if not daily, but on a larger scale, no one is talking about a solution, in the sense the “War on Drugs” is occurring more regionally than nationally. And that might not necessarily be a bad thing. But In the Midwest, and many southern states, such as Kentucky, where pain pills crack down has only increased the use of heroin exponentially. (source)

But I’m going to stop right there, there are a TON of programs specifically targeted to drug users and abusers. In fact, drug addiction is a tricky disease to overcome, because let’s say two people come from the same parents, and live in the same environment, one may be able to kick the habit and the other not at all.

So if drug addiction, although serious, goes under the radar, yet there is still more money and programs going to combat it, why aren’t we focusing more on kids? The most fragile of all. On September 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released a report “about homelessness among U.S. public school students and showed that it is not only on the rise, it has hit a record high: 1.3 million children were identified as homeless in the 2012-2013 school year, an 8% increase from the year before.”  (Source) 

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And the next part isn’t any better, the 1.3 million homeless children do not account for  the infants and toddlers that are too young to be counted. Yet, we are not doing anything about it. The challenges homeless children face, like the girl I witnessed, have a very high drop out rate of 75%. And to add icing on the cake, the world is watching, the “U.N. declared that America’s treatment of homelessness “raises concerns of discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” (Source) 

Yeah, it really is a problem. And this is an area where we could have consensus. That is right, C O N S E N S U S, which means general agreement or concord; harmony!!! But we choose disagreement, we often enjoy topics that avoid consensus. Politico just published an article about Republicans AND Democrats feeding off of each other’s pessimism for this election season and it’s making a huge difference in fundraising, the more of it the better. Why not? When pessimism is selling (or fundraising) let’s keep it rolling. (source) . If we worked on an issue such as child homelessness, we could bring positivity and hope to a segment of the population who have few options. We can’t expect homeless children to be able to fight for themselves. Now I am not necessarily saying we would all agree on how to tackle issues such a juvenile homelessness, but what happened to fixing issues being the most important thing. And as stated earlier, no one is for juvenile homelessness, its just that no one is for doing anything about it. So the idea of building consensus continues to go… under the radar

6 responses to “Children? Homeless? That’s Like So Under My Radar

  1. Christopher Scurry

    I hear you. But what you have to take into consideration is how the juvenile became homeless. If we come up with a blanket solution that is dedicated to helping juvenile homelessness, one of the unforeseen consequences is that more impoverished people will reproduce for government aid.

    I believe the words of the late great philosopher Michael Joseph Jackson in his writing “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” In this writing, Jackson states “if you can’t feed your baby, then don’t have a baby, and don’t have a baby, if you can’t feed your baby.”

    That’s my conservative answer. Usually that answer is calculated and sometimes cold. My liberal answer (usually based on emotion) is that, yes, we should come up with some type of action or legislation to help homeless children.

    Good Article.

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    • So we shouldn’t help homeless kids, because they may have kids that will be on welfare? Is it not the same as trying to save the lives of a to be aborted baby, right? A better conservative answer would to be help and save the lives of both… homeless children are not on government aid, and the assumption that is a concern is interesting. .. it’s a lot harder to recieve benefits than ever before… and people without children only recieve benefits for 3 months if they have no job… the economy is just that bad for people in the lower rungs of society, people who have jobs, pay rent are just still living under poverty line… so to imply that being concerned with homeless children in any way affects government aid is a huge jump…

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    • Thanks for your comment though Chris! I like to be challenged and start discussion!!!

      Like

  2. Christopher Scurry

    I meant to imply that homeless adults would procreate so that they could benefit off of government aid that comes with having a homeless child. It’s not unlike the benefits that single women receive for having a household of children and no man. It’s pretty much their job to reproduce. The more children, the more aid. I’m suggesting the harsh reality is you have to cut the aid to not reward people for having children they can’t afford. Some argue that it should be a crime to get pregnant (or get someone pregnant) knowing that you can’t afford (or have shelter) to raise the child.

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  3. A Mother First.....

    Interesting views…..at one point , prior to Bill Clinton, a single mother could sit home have as many children as she wanted and draw her assistance child after child, but First of all there is a five year max in a lifetime no matter how many children a woman has. I know first hand what it is to draw assistance for my children and I’m not ashamed one bit, why? Because I worked meaningless Jobs to try and provide for my kids and when ends wasn’t meeting, I chose to “borrow” from the government while I went back to school and pursued a Nursing degree and by the grace of God I graduated! , and was able to come off assistance and provide for my family. We in America starting all the way back to middle school need to teach our youth and provide the necessary tools to guide them down the right course as far as abstinence, birth control, secondary education and career choices. And not to water any ones dreams of who or what they want to be when they complete secondary education, we as a society has to become realist!!! Ex…19 yr old homeless teen mom with 2 kids, and no education. She wants to be a hair dresser, her kids are 2 and 3. Do we say “OK, follow your dreams” or guide her into looking into a career that the jobs and benefits are attainable and she will be self sufficient? ( cause what the Homeless Families story may not reveal, Dad or Mom may have had government assistance- apt, food stamps, etc but as soon as they step out on faith and get a little job that may be a little more than minimum wage, then the government deems them as making ” too ” much and now there in worse shape than before)…………

    Liked by 1 person

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