For many of us, there is a perception of what it means to experience homelessness. We might see it as something that could only happen if someone were to make bad choices. Or, we might see it as the result of circumstances that are far removed from those we live in.
But, the truth is that the lives of those that experience homelessness are commonly far closer to our own than we might realize. The line between having a safe place to come back to or not isn’t only determined by mental illness, addiction or a string of poor choices. It is made by privilege, a lack of opportunity and sometimes just plain bad luck. It can come from an absence of the support most of us don’t fully appreciate we have in friends, family and our communities. Those experiencing homelessness are closer to us than many realize. They deserve just as much respect, support and opportunity without prejudice.
Artist: Bridget Moore
One of the best things you can do for those experiencing homelessness is to acknowledge them as equals. Engage them in conversation. Buy them a meal. We so often walk past those living rough on the streets without a look and it can become desensitising as we start to view them as separate from ourselves. It is important to remember how easily you could be in their situation. (Bowery)
While we all understand the concept of homelessness, the definition changes from country to country, making it difficult to know how many people actually experience it at any given time. One thing most can agree on is that their homeless population has increased in the last few years. (Homeless World Cup)
Question: When is a time someone helped you out in a rough situation? How can you pay it forward to someone else in need?
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