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franklin county times

What we take for granted

By Staff
Melissa Cason
This week I had an eye-opening experience. I came face to face with homelessness.
While I was not personally affected by homelessness, I met a man who literally had no home.
Even though I did not know the gentleman, my heart was broken to learn that he was in need of something we all take for granted: A place called home.
Homes is a house place the protects you from the weather. It's a place we all go when we want to escape the outside world.
Have you ever thought how it would be if you didn't have a home?
Millions of Americans are homeless, and most of us never consider that we, ourselves, could ever be homeless. But, that is not the reality. The reality is that everyone can become homeless at some point of his or her life. It really doesn't take much. A few bad days at work before a job is lost. Then, the rent can't be paid, and there you are, on the streets.
But, what if the circumstances are beyond your control? What if we get sick, and can't work? With the cost of medication, the streets may be closer than you think.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that everyone can become homeless and it affects everyone.
Take the guy I met this week. He had been in jail for six weeks because of an altercation with his sister, who he was living with. He is incapable of working, and draws a disability check. He had nowhere to turn.
One of my friends tried to help him. She searched all day in an attempt to find help locally, but there was none for the homeless. Yes churches do help with electricity or gas, but there are absolutely no services for those without shelter. That broke my heart.
I wanted to scoop him up, and take him home with me, but I knew I had children at home and they come first.
So I started making calls of my own trying to help my friend help this guy. I called the only person who might could help me, but his mission has closed, and since it was the only service dedicated to helping with homelessness, he had nothing good to offer me locally, but he knew of a shelter in Huntsville.
I passed the information to my friend who was trying to help him so desperately.
In the end, the man did not have to return to the park bench he had sat on the night before.
I know we don't think that our parks can be flooded with the homeless, but one homeless person is one too many in our community.
We should be reaching out to help our neighbors, and giving them aid when they need it most not turning them away.
It would be great if churches, local governments, and other organization would develop a plan to deal with homelessness in our community. Maybe set aside money to give them temporary shelter until a permanent situation can be found.
I am not saying to douse them with money and accommodations. I am saying we need to show people in need compassion because hard times come fast and we could be the ones with no roof over our heads.

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