Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Homelessness Has a Face

This post is not lovely; as my blog title suggests. Please forgive me for that; and allow me this moment to open my heart to you about something I see every day that breaks my heart every day...Sometimes I just need to talk about it.
   The poverty rate among the students in my school is extremely high. It's one reason that I work there. I want to make a difference in a child's life. And I'm trying. Since Easter, there have been nine children that I know of who have become homeless. And I don't know about all of them.
     Homelessness is a difficult issue.   Politicians talk about statistics and federal money-to help or not to help, that is the question. Sociologists discuss the impact of drug and alcohol abuse on families and their ability to provide shelter for themselves. Churches tell us to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless while most of their monies are spent on the next building campaign.
     Here's what I can tell you about homelessness. Little "Alandra", a pretty 6-year-old kindergartener with soft brown eyes and a quiet smile often comes to school with most of her clothes in her backpack because she has nowhere else to keep them. The beautiful brown ringlets in her hair are matted because she doesn't always have a place to shower. She is bright and wants so much to learn, but I often see her with her head in her arms on her desk; trying to get some rest. I wonder where she slept last night...or if she got to sleep at all. I turn my head, wipe tears from my eyes and tell myself, "Debbie, you can only do what you can do."
     I give her extra hugs and lots of support with her math and language. I say lots of prayers. And it feels like the tears that I've restrained from falling from my eyes are backing up into my heart; and it is becoming very heavy.
     For me, homelessness has tousled curly hair and an angelic 6 year old face that is buried in her arms and fast asleep at her little kindergarten desk. That's what I can tell you about homelessness.


ellen b. said...

Hard to find the right words to comment on this. I worked in a very poor area in a suburb of Los Angeles where some of my students lived in their cars. Worse then this was watching a father kick his daughter as he dropped her off at school. It's easy not to care when there isn't a face to go with the statistics but when it's in your face it's hard not to care...

Linda O'Connell said...

My heart breaks for these innocent victims. Keep giving extra hugs.


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