178. In Our Own Backyard

One of the goals for Wanderingvets is to raise awareness about the issues facing our homeless men and women veterans in the US, and about the issue of homelessness in general.  It would be naieve to think that everyone who passes this way actually gives some thought about the individual faces of homelessness in this country,although we do hope that some readers will ponder this growing population and actually reach out to those in need in your communities. Although this site is dedicated to the issues of homelessness in the US,a recent event prompted me to think about the widespread incidence of homelessness throughout the world.

One of the benefits of blogging on this site is that WordPress supplies bloggers with  information about the statistics of each  blog that is published including a list of incoming links that link back to Wanderingvets from another site. Imagine the surprise when I followed this link to find Wanderingvets Post #177 that was simply copied and pasted on another blog without any additional narrative offered by the blogger, discussion of homelessness in their own country or acknowledgment of the source of the article. Upon snooping around this site some more I read the objective to this certain blog which is as follows:

Most of the mainstream media provide only those information which can be used to paint a rosy image about the developed countries. In this blog I will post the information which are as bad as it can be found in any poor country. It will help to provide the other side of the image about the developed world. (MyWorldView)

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery but even in the world of cyberspace there is such a thing as basic etiquette among bloggers that includes citing sources of information posted.  I realized that the real reason this link bothered me so much was due to much more than  someone hijacking the post. The reason this bothered me so much was due to the fact that America does have ” a dirty little secret” where  people are living without shelter just as millions of others humans are living throughout the world and we are not doing nearly enough. Much like the blogger who hijacked the Wanderingvets post, we know it exists yet seem to think it’s acceptable to leave the real work up to other people. Although statistics for the homeless throughout the globe are difficult to report with accuracy, there are an estimated 1oo million homeless people on earth.When you consider the global population of  people living without a home and in poverty on this earth it is almost too much to grasp. .When you consider that America has one of the highest percapita incomes in the world  it is shocking that we choose to allow Americans to live without a major focus to end homelessness in this country or immediate plans for assistance. We seem to have an overhwhelming resignation to let some American citizens live without the very basics of human needs.This is both shocking and dismal in what it says about our compassion & morality.

While we look at conditions of extreme poverty and unthinkable living conditions in other countries and offer aid,we seem to have turned our back to those who are so deserving of the same aid right in our won back yard. Clearly,there are many  people right here in the US who would benefit from the compassionate assistance of a helping hand out of homelessness. With our current rise in homelessness due to the dire economic times we are seeing a sharp rise in homeless populations throughout the country. Sadly, our government doesn’t seem to think that investing in the welfare of these Americans is a priority. There has been no significant increase in funding for Americans who find themselves homeless in 2008.

Here are some statistics to consider:

3.5 million people (1.35 million of which are children) will experience homelessness in a given year. (With the current rise in homelessness this number has risen significantly in 2008)
Children under the age of 18 account for 39% of the homeless population. 42% of these are under the age of 5.
43% of the homeless population are women; 40% of these women are unaccompanied. 22% of homeless women claim domestic abuse as reason for homelessness. 25% of these claim to have been abused within the past year.
Families with children comprise 33% of the homeless population.
Vets constitute 40% of the homeless population.
1 in every 5 homeless persons has a severe or persistent mental illness.
25% of the homeless nationwide are employed. (http://lahsc.org/wordpress/educate/statistics/united-states-homeless-statistics/

All citizens of the globe have the right to basic services suchas shelter, food,clothing &medical services. Isn’t it time we start adressing these basic needs within our own American communities?  Can we begin to make a difference in homelessness right in our own backyards? Will you help or will you pass your fellow homeless Americans by?



2 Responses to “178. In Our Own Backyard”

  1. October 2, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    It seems incredulous to me that our nation’s elected leaders can pass a legislative bill of $700 billion, plus an additional $110 billion tacked on to give tax breaks to businesses – in effect, “robbing from the poor to take care of the rich” while so many of nation’s Veteran’s continue to have to “sleep rough” everyday of the year. Shameful.

    Where have our core moral values as a nation gone? Or have they simply been sold out by our national politicians to the highest bidding lobbyist groups?

    Doesn’t it seem like a shame that our government has compromised the real strength of our nation by forgetting about our heros and the people who who make this country great ? When did we start to value investing in other countries and condone unaccountablity in government and business before taking care of the welfare of Americans?


  2. 2 SouthernBelle56
    October 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I know this is a real problem in this country and it is appalling and a disgrace. How can I make a difference and help the homeless vets? I want to help but have no idea where to start. With your knowledge of the situation I feel like you are very well equipped to answer this question.
    Thank you for your time!!!

    Thanks for your willingness to help out homeless veterans.
    Please look at Post #177 there are links at the end of the post that suggest ways to offer assistance to our homeless Americans. There are also links on the right side of Wanderingvets of others who also help our homeless population,including homeless veterans.Take a look and if you have further questions please let us know.

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