Today I passed a woman and her two children on the street of Seattle. They were freezing and begging for spare change - outside the fucking Macy’s store. Their not-tattered cloths, clean skin, and look of shock said until recently they enjoyed a normal life, and knew life wasn't supposed to be “leave school and curl up in the sidewalk for the night.” Quite probably they had a home until last week. The first of the month is when rent comes due. It's when landlords kick people out. I gave her the pissant change I had on me.
The first of the month is when rent comes due.
It's when landlords kick people out.
This evening there was a young woman camped outside Fred Meyer, freezing her ass off. Her sign was asking for tents, blankets, camping gear, and spare change. Again, her gloves, cloths and skin screamed “I had a roof until this week.” She was smart enough to write that sign. She almost certainly completed high school and maybe college. I gave her the money in had gotten from the ATM to buy myself a candy bar.
No one should be forced to live in the street. It’s a stab through the heart to look at children exactly like the middle class kids you grew up with, and a woman exactly like the soccer mom, who was your “other mom,” who took you for ice cream with your best friend after every game, huddled against a fucking wall with her children, trying not to show the terror, despair and crushing sense of failure she felt, because she couldn't protect her kids.
It turns your world upside to see yourself sitting by the road, freezing, begging for blankets or spare change. Education means opportunity, but it no longer guarantees survival. “By the grace of God,” and all that bullshit. My lifepath lead to stability - her’s has lead to freezing on the street.
It fills the compassionate heart with revulsion that we have allowed this to happen. It fills the sane mind with terror to know it can easily happen to people exactly like us.
America is the richest country in the history of human civilization. There is no excuse for anyone - especially children! - to be freezing, starving and begging.
NO EXCUSE FOR LETTING CHILDREN STARVE.
Every day I try to do something - anything - to make the world a better place for everyone. I give time, I give money. Some days more, some days less, but something.
I don’t give a fuck who you want to blame for the sorry state of the world. Blame and anger aren’t helpful unless they all focus on one critical action item:
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?