Friday, July 2, 2010

Community Efforts... Wait, WHERE?????

Does everyone have an equal opportunity?

Does everyone have a fighting chance?

Should everyone aspire to live the ‘American dream’?

Who says we can all take care of ourselves?

Can we all really all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps?

Rather than point a finger at a specific demographic, I’ll just say that there are some groups of people who think all these things are wonderful and true. Some people think that everyone can do anything they set their minds to. In a sense, this is partially true. When it comes to important issues, however, some of us DO need an extra boost. Let’s talk- for example- SURPRISE! about homelessness.

Hypothetically (and based off several true situations) I just lost my job. I have no more income. After a long and unsuccessful search for employment, I got evicted because I can’t pay my rent. My savings are gone. My furniture is out on the street. I don’t have the financial means to put it in storage. I think the neighbors are going to steal it. I can’t really stop them. I’m beside myself. I don’t have a family that has the financial means to help me either. I have no where to go. I no longer have a home. Looks like I’ll be living out of my car until I figure this out. But wait, how can I continue to job hunt if I can’t shower and look professional? How can I buy food? All of this is hitting me so quickly. I hate that the tears run down my face without my consent. This defeat is unwelcomed and I want to shrivel up sometimes. My emotions are out of control. I don’t know how it got this bad this quickly. I had a good job. I don’t know what to do now. I’m alone. I guess I’ll park my car in this abandoned lot for a while. It’s so hot. I’m sweating, I’m hungry, I’m sad, and I’m worried. It’s unbearable.

Since when did it become okay to have over 600,000 homeless Americans PER night? Why does everyone ignore the issue as it continues to be more of a problem? Unfortunately, the face of homelessness is still depicted as that old and gross bum who haggles for money on the corner. That bum on the corner is just as much of man as the next man. Much like the story describes, homelessness is taking on a new face because of the recent economic downfall. Everyone needs a helping hand sooner or later. Maybe it won’t ever be in this context, but everyone will need help at some point in their lives. What the general consensus fails to realize is that simple preventative measures could have helped the person in that story.

Let’s sit on that for a while and reconsider what we are doing to help out those in need in Atlanta. It’s our community. It’s where we do everything that matters. We are all a part of ONE big community. Those who want to claim that fending for yourself is always a practical option are uneducated. We all live here. No one is exempt from helping. It’s not hard. How come we don’t realize that lending a hand to our community patrons may make all the difference in their world? Let’s coexist. Let’s fight for others to be successful- because most of the time, they want to be successful too. Let’s contribute to a better city in whole. We can do it and we can do it together.