Everyone has a different picture of home and a different reason to hope. For many thr holidays are that time of year to share abundantly and recognize what we have to be thankful for. Many people go shopping, decorate the house and tree, bake cookies and plan to gather family and friends and open presents.
Homeless people must take another view. People resort to the street because they have no family, or they cannot return. They are friends usually only to each other, and the last thing they can afford is to go shopping. Their home is a vision. Their hope is all they’ve got.
You may encounter homeless people among all the hustle and bustle of busy downtown streets, often asking for money or to work for food. In crowded malls we hear the bells ringing out another cry for help.
And in this season charity is taken seriously, but is charity enough? How long will that dime, or cup of coffee, coat or bed in a shelter last?
Lasting hope must involve more than just charity. The holiday vision must be made real all year. As well as your pocket change, could you spare a little social change?
Homeless people need your long-term commitment to affordable housing and opportunities for employment.
Copyright the Homeless Grapevine and NEOCH Issue 4 December 1993- January 1994