Cause Your Real Home’s In Your Chest
What do you think of when you think of the homeless? A dirty bum on the side of the street? A guy in the median with a ‘will work for food’ sign? That guy in the wheelchair and the cup of change? What about that girl who always seems to be on your friend’s couch? Nah. She’s showered, she’s smart, she’s put together.
The face of homelessness has been changing lately. Where people used to sleep on park benches, now people are sleeping on couches or any other place they can find.
The article is from Britain, but it happens in America too. Way too often, people either are thrown out of their homes, or throw themselves out of their homes due to bigotry, disagreements, or other issues with housemates or family. They turn into ‘couch surfers’, too proud to go to a shelter or ask for help, but too broke to get anything of their own.
Before you start telling me that it would never happen in America, let me tell you a story. There was once a girl with glasses and a fedora. She had left her own home four years previously, and thought she had found a well-respected job at a National Park. When the economy fell into ruin, the National Park she had worked at was not able to keep her. Before she knew it, she was on a four-year adventure across four states, a dorm room floor, two couches, two beds, and a two-week stint living in a car. At no point during that time did she look homeless, she always found showers and places to wash her clothes. Eventually, she was able to fight her way to a job and a place of her own. The entire time she was struggling, people never once realized the more-than-perilous situation she was in. One of her friends turned her out, many others, friends and passers-by alike didn’t even believe that she was in as bad of a situation as she was.
Sad story? Not really. It’s a situation that many people find themselves in. However, not all hope is lost. There are a few simple things that people can do to help their friends who might be in poor situations.
Have people over for dinner! How often do we all have leftovers that we just don’t want to eat? If someone’s struggling, have a stay-at-home movie night and include your favourite pasta dish.
Share a couch! Not everyone would have the ability to do this, but if you can, let someone sleep on your couch for a few weeks. You’d be surprised how little electricity and/or water one person takes up.
Just listen! Never underestimate the power of just sitting down with someone, listening to them, and believing what they say. No matter someone’s outward appearance, they might be in a really bad situation and need an ear or a hug.
It’s awful that people have to go through things like this, but just a few kind words can make a world of difference.
P.S. That girl with the fedora? That’s me.