On a single night in January 2013, 610,042 people were experiencing homelessness. From 2012 to 2013, a period of continued slow recovery from the Great Recession, overall homelessness decreased by 3.7 percent and homelessness decreased among every major subpopulation—families (7 percent), chronically homeless individuals (7.3 percent), and veterans (7.3 percent). But nationwide trends do not tell the full story.
This quote, showing us that more than half a million people were longing for a home of their own, only weeks after Christmas, was pulled from the National Alliance to End Homelessness in America 2014.
More sobering is the knowledge that although homelessness overall was decreasing, 20 states saw increasing rates of homelessness.
Then there is this:
And it’s not like all of these people chose to be homeless. Open Door Missions also reports that up to 25% of homeless people are employed. The sad follow up fact is that their employment is likely in jeopardy due to the instability of their lives, meaning homelessness is much more likely to become a long-term status rather than a bump in the road.
JustGive.org has a list of 35 ways anyone can help the homeless. Here are a few:
- Understand who the homeless are. The three links I’ve provided above are really good places to start.
- Bring food. A few extra sandwiches cost you very little, and can mean the world to someone with an empty stomach.
- Support local food drives. One bag of groceries can go a long way.
- Volunteer your skills and your hobbies.
- Educate your children. Remind them that the homeless are people, too.
- Get involved.
Some of these suggestions are hard, but some are so easy that we have no excuse.
Get involved today. Join the Bird on Fire revolution. Help us change the world, one community at a time.