With so many causes out there to choose from, “What are you most passionate about?”
The question really is, “What are you most passionate about helping NOW?”
It’s hard to pick just one, I know.
Everything seems so close to us, too close to home.
With things like cancer, heart disease, child abduction, autism, animal rescue, and war. How can one choose?
This is why I choose helping the homeless; most ended up homeless because of one or all of the above. Think about it.
Here are a few examples of people who become homeless.
Example 1: Child has cancer, partner has illness (mental or physical)
What would you do if your child had an illness but you had no insurance to cover the cost? Not every organization out there is going to help you with expenses. You sell your possessions and then become homeless saving your child. The risk was worth it, and now you’re stuck living in your car, in a hotel, or on the streets. You ask, “What happened to all of your savings?” Well, like most Americans, savings is very limited. Sure, we’re supposed to save up for 6 months emergency, but let’s be real, most can’t do that unless they’re making over 100K a year, and depending on where they live, even that’s stretching it.
Example 2: You’re a Veteran who has been released of duty
So now what? You had a job, place to live, now where do you go? There aren’t that many jobs for an Army machinist out there, and do you tell them you’re a Veteran? No, you’re worried they’ll judge you based on media misconceptions that you’re broken and worn. Bullshit, you’re the best damn worker there is, but jobs are limited with your particular skill set. People ask you, “Why not just do odd jobs?” Ha, do they really think “odd jobs” is going to help you have a nice place and pay your bills on time? Not likely. So what do you do? Your family lives 1000s of miles away or maybe you’re a young adult who doesn’t have any family (happens more than you might think). You resort to “living” in shelters, with the clothes off your back and a backpack with a small amount of belongings. The VA has a long list of other people who need help, plus they’re more urgent with medical issues or have been homeless longer than you.
Example 3: Living paycheck to paycheck and then you lose your job
You used to say “It won’t happen to me”, and now you sit on the side of the road asking for money and food. One day you were happy; all the bills were paid on time, everyone was able to eat. Life was okay. But then one day, you went into work, your boss sat you down for a “chat”, and next thing you know you’re getting walked out with a box of your things. Two months pass by, savings is almost gone, and your partner decides to take the kids to their parent’s house while you “figure out your shit”, oh but you were left the family dog. Now what? Where do you go? Who can you ask for help? Who’s going to take in you and your dog?
And the stories go on and on, just search “Videos about the homeless” if you want to hear situations of people being homeless.
So this is what I’m trying to figure out: What can we do as a society to bring about change to help each other? What are we doing wrong that homelessness is getting worse? Who will be next?
I ponder these questions almost every second of every day. There’s so much to do, and I can’t do it alone. Who will help me help these people? Awareness is the starting point, now we need to do something about it…we need to take action.
Problem is, I’m not sure what that action is just yet. Just keep this in mind, shelters stay open and get more funding when people are hurting. Large nonprofits that shelter and house people make huge “profits” when people are homeless…they’re just as greedy as the banks. If you don’t believe me, just check out their IRS forms. For example, the CEO of a large nonprofit in Los Angeles makes over 250K a year, which doesn’t include their living and car expense. This nonprofit is in every major city in the US.
This nonprofit in LA brought in 433M+ last year.
The math: 50 states * (at least) 2 locations per state * $400M+ = holy crap that’s a lot of money ($40B with a B)
I’ll get in to more of these numbers in another blog. So, when you think of giving, give to the little guys. The big guys are taken care of with their team of 20 grant writers. Small guys, they’re lucky if they get one.
If you think my math is wrong, please prove it.
I love to be challenged and I actually hate being right because that typically means someone has failed, and not in an “I can learn from this fail” either.