Thursday, February 25, 2016

366 Project - Day 56 - "Catching the Drips (The Roof is Leaking)"


February 25, 2016 - "Catching the Drips (The Roof is Leaking)"

As we come towards the end of the Second Week of Lent, the lessons I'm blessed with learning continue...

At this time last week we had no water, due to several breaks in the cold water line running under our house. Today, however, we seem to have an abundance of water.

Last night brought very heavy rain and house-shaking thunder that had our dog shivering in my arms throughout the night. This morning as I made my way from the bedroom to the kitchen, I suddenly had very wet feet... as there was quite a large puddle in the middle of the dining room floor. In other words: Our roof is leaking yet again.

The floor has been dried and covered with beach towels... and a large lobster pot now catches the drips. I'm left sitting here trying to find the meaning behind the ping of each and every drip as it meets the bottom of the pot.

My roof may be leaking... but then again, I'm blessed with having a roof to cover me. Far too many people in this world are not. No roof... No walls... No shelter... No home.

Our homes are yet another thing we take for granted, yet are seldom content with. We seem to always want to make some sort of an improvement to our homes - "I'd love to have granite countertops instead of this crappy laminate!". Sometimes we long to be able to move to a different home... a house instead of an apartment... a larger or nicer house than we currently have... a home in a better neighborhood... a place where the weather is always nice and the views are amazing. We get annoyed with every perceived fault in the home or place we currently live in - whether it's as "big" as a furnace or central air conditioner that doesn't always work properly... or as "small" as a door handle that sometimes sticks requiring us to have to jiggle it in order to get the front door to open or close properly. The thing is... there are many who would give anything to have what we have, yet take for granted.

In November of 2015 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) presented its annual "Homeless Assessment" to Congress. What did they find? I'm glad you asked.

* As of January 2015 there were 564,708 homeless people in the U.S. on any given night. Think about that for a second... over half a million people in this country are homeless.

The subpopulation of homeless which tends to get the most coverage - such as on social media and in political campaigning, for example - are the homeless veterans. As of January 2015 there were 47,725 homeless veterans, making up less than 10% of the total number of homeless in the United States... and thankfully the number of homeless veterans has been declining each year.

However - what seldom gets coverage on social media or in political campaign discussions is that...

* Almost 40% of the homeless people in the United States are families with children.

* Nearly one-quarter of all homeless people are children under the age of 18.

The five states with the largest homeless populations are California, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii and Nevada.

The five states with the lowest rates of homelessness are Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Nebraska.

And just in case there are any thoughts as to who the "stereotypical homeless person" is:

* Almost 75% of homeless individuals are male
* Over 80% of homeless individuals are Non-Hispanic
* Over 50% of homeless individuals are Caucasian

Again - all of these figures come from HUD's 2015 Homeless Assessment which was presented to Congress. It can be found online at - https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2015-AHAR-Part-1.pdf

Keep in mind that these figures are for the United States only! Imagine the numbers when you factor in the rest of the world!

So what can we do about this?

Well, for starters, contact the nearest homeless shelter to the town you live in and help out in whatever way you're able to. Whether you volunteer your time... donate money... donate goods... whatever - do whatever you can to the best of your abilities.

Next, visit www.endhomelessness.org to learn more and to help on the national level.

Finally, give thanks for the home that you have - leaky roof and all - every single day!

*   *   *

No comments: