October 10 is designated as World Homeless Day. Each year on 10/10, more than 100 nations work to bring awareness to the homeless among us. “The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides” (http://www.worldhomelessday.org/)
As you consider the needs of homeless people, please keep these specifics in mind:
· Many people in our community are but 1 paycheck away from being homeless.
· The economy is not the only, nor is it the major, cause of homelessness. Many people become homeless due to a series of unfortunate decisions, some of them economic.
· With the number of shelters and resources in any community, there is no reason for anyone to be unsheltered.
· Not all who pose as being homeless actually are. There are those who, unfortunately, capitalize on the compassion that is aroused in good people when they are confronted by someone who holds a sign or begs for money.
· There is no stereotype of a homeless person. Over the years, the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley has helped people with a variety of backgrounds: nurses, single mothers with children, single fathers with children, mortgage brokers, skilled tradespeople, university professors, and the list goes on.
· The best way to address the homeless issue is to support agencies that deal directly with homeless people. They have the resources and expertise to provide the proper kind of assistance.