Whatever it Takes

You read or hear about homeless families but most people turn away from this cruel reality because they can’t imagine living outside and they have no solutions for the problem. Every city has its share of these people and it is heart breaking. There are makeshift shelters under freeway overpasses and in the parks that house the homeless. It is a shocking sight. When some homeless roam the cities, they are shooed away by local authorities for disturbing the citizens as they beg for help. You have to open your mind and heart to the problem and support legislation that will fund more public shelters.

I hear about one homeless family in particular that was a particularly sad case. The father had lost his job and did not qualify for aid. He also lost his health insurance and of course the family home. Over time, the situation deteriorated as they had no family to help out. No one lived in the state who could take them in. The mother tried to get jobs cleaning houses but these were few and far between. What little money she made went for meagre meals. The parents had to be resourceful in buying day old food at the market. Meanwhile the father had created a tent to protect the family from the elements. He used some cardboard boxes as the base and an above ground pool pool liner in place of a true canvas tarp. There was an abandoned house two blocks away from their intended shelter and the pool was empty. The yard was neglected and the pool was useless. Taking the liner was an act of genius as it saved the family from sleeping in the rain.

This is one of the most extraordinary stories of homelessness that I have heard in a long time. The kids did not attend school and the father spent the day looking for odd jobs. He didn’t know how to apply for government funds and he became slowly more depressed every day. It got so bad that he went to a free clinic and they gave him some advice. There was a vintage store around the block where he could get proper attire to apply for a job, similar to the one he had that let him go. With a better appearance, he was able to secure something at a modest salary. His mood became immediately elated. He could wait to take down the pool liner and free the family from the makeshift shelter. He was able to rent a modest apartment and they all had to share two rooms. No matter. He was on his way back up the corporate ladder and worked hard to get the mental strength to carry on. Living on the streets takes its toll and it requires time to make the shift to a new life. It turned out fine in the end some months later, so I was told. I like a story with a happy ending.