My wife and I were shopping at Costco recently and when we left after shopping, there was a homeless man at the exit with a sign indicating his plight. Don't care what people say, we keep a number of five-dollar-bills in the car for the homeless. My wife rolled the window down and gave the man $5.00. He was so grateful, thanked us for the money, but then said, "Have a happy holiday." Here's a man on the street, wrapped in a blanket (cold in Phoenix) and he wishes us a happy holiday.
I was totally taken aback by this kind and sincere wish from someone who had no place to live and probably no idea where his next meal would come from. Added to this, Phoenix was forecast to have a low in the 30s that night. I haven't been able to forget him and can only wish that more people around the country would have a similar experience and demand something be done about the homeless now. That's when I thought of the headline above to shame those in charge to do something.
And this is what shelters are asking for in the Phoenix metro area...
- New socks and underwear
"for people experiencing homelessness, winter is a brutal challenge. The cold weather makes life on the street even more dangerous than usual, and the societal focus on togetherness and holiday cheer can create a sense of even greater isolation."What's behind rising homelessness in America?
Here are some of their suggestions for helping...
"Donate warm clothes, socks, and blankets. Cleaning house for the cold season? Taking stock of your family’s winter wardrobe? Don’t let those coats and hats go to the trash. Shelters and individuals will be grateful for your gently used items, especially socks and blankets, which are even more necessary during the cold months."
Donate food, including leftovers. All shelters and soup kitchens will be grateful for donations during the holiday months, and if you over-prepare for an office party or gathering among friends, don’t let those leftovers go to waste. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is one organization that helps redirect potential food waste to those who need it.
"Call 311 (non-emergency services) when you see someone in danger. The colder it gets, the more dangerous it is for people to live unsheltered. If you see a person outside on a cold night, contact 311 to access local services and potentially save a life. Many cities have their own cold-weather homeless-serving hotlines and 211 is another common line for essential community services. If you meet an unsheltered person who is also a veteran, they can find help through 1-877-4AID-VET, while homeless teens can call the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY."
In closing, I cannot understand why some millionaire or billionaire hasn't stepped
Unfortunately, the displaced folks are not evenly distributed around the country so that is why a centrally controlled plan is necessary. So far band aids are being used where there should be a major bandaging of the problem. I just don't understand why millionaires and billionaires can't spare a few bucks to help those down on their luck. What good Samaritan will commit to this worthy project?
Have a happy holiday to our homeless friend at Costco and the same for all your peers. May you all find shelter and good fortune in the near future.