Monday, November 8, 2010

Consider the Homeless

All day today it seemed that my thoughts and prayers kept returning to those who are homeless. I'm not exactly sure why, but I know that God kept laying it on my heart to pray for them today. And so I did. I have friends who have been homeless. They are without question some of my favorite people in my life. Their lives are rich in many ways that someone who has never been homeless would never know. I am blessed to call them my friend.

On my way to and from work every day I drive past two houses not far from us that sit empty. One I am not really sure why it is vacant and the other one most likely a foreclosure based on the way it was left. These houses have also been sitting empty for quite awhile now with no "for sale" signs in the front yard. I don't know what happened in either case. But then I started wondering, what a difference it might make if all those houses that have been sitting empty for so long could be used to house all the people who have been homeless in the last year. Just wondering.

This Bloomberg report stated the following:

"About 18.9 million homes in the U.S. stood empty during the second quarter as surging foreclosures helped push ownership to the lowest level in a decade."

Fox news reported this:

"Overall, 1.56 million people spent at least one night in emergency shelters or transitional housing, the report said. One-third of those individuals were part of a homeless family.

Volunteers counted 643,000 homeless people, sheltered and on the streets, during one given night in January 2009, the report said."

It seems to me there a lot more vacant homes than there are homeless people. I know there are many more factors to consider, but sometimes I get tired of rationalizing away hope. Sometimes it's just good to consider the homeless and consider how we might make things different.

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