Tag Archives: Chicago

New Homeless Youth Statistics

What jobs are available to youth on the street?  Minimum wage jobs for the most part.  At that rate, it takes 70 hours a week just to pay for an apartment in this economy, and that doesn’t even pay for the food they need to keep themselves healthy enough to be able to work those long hours.

Housing the Homeless

The Pacific Garden Mission is the oldest continuously running mission in the country. Countless lives have been touched by their various ministry outreaches in some form or another. Only God knows what seeds have been planted and only in eternity will those who have served be able to reap the boundless benefits and blessings due to them.

More than 166,000 people in Chicago are homeless in a year’s time. The mission reaches out to the homeless in Chicago providing sleeping accommodations for the night, delicious hot meals, and other resources if the need arises.

via Housing the Homeless and Sharing the Gospel in Chicago – The Pacific Garden Mission.

Painted Black Rehash: Paying the Price

In order to prevent being homeless, I moved in with one of my male friends, “Steve.”

Things were going great until he started attempting to have sex with me. I don’t want to tell him no because he has opened his house to me and I would really rather not be homeless.

via Ask Amy advice on finances – chicagotribune.com.

This young man’s letter illustrates one of the many reasons why kids end up on the streets.  Oftentimes it becomes a choice between two bad options.

Amy’s response is also pretty typical of the general public’s.  Instead of offering suggestions for how to deal with the sexually aggressive housemate, she derides the writer for being financial irresponsible which is why his parents kicked him out.

Kids on the streets are often both the instigator of their own situation at the same time they are victims of forces outside their own control.  Why do we so often point an accusatory finger at the individual instead of trying to help him/her overcome the circumstances that are hindering their growth?

Making the invisible visible

The young girl in the picture looks like your everyday average teenager, right?  And she is.  She just also happens to be homeless.

«Mark calls them “invisible people” because so often, they lurk unnoticed on the edges of society. We walk by them on the street, not seeing them or too busy or uncomfortable to stop. Do we give money? Do we buy them a sandwich? We don’t know, and so we pretend we don’t see them because there’s no easy answer.

We distance ourselves mentally, too. The homeless are drug addicts. The mentally-ill. Not us. Not like us. They’re homeless because they want to be, many say. They’re too lazy to do anything but ask for spare change. Not like us. It couldn’t happen to us.

Sitting next to AnnMarie, Doris Day kept singing in my brain. “I asked my mother what would I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? Here’s what she said to me….”

It didn’t sound so sweet this time. Whatever will be will be? What kind of answer is that? Here I was, sitting next to someone who felt so like me. And Sandra, and Reggie. They felt like me too. Why was I the one asking the questions while they asked for change?

It seems so cruel. AnnMarie and I were both little girls long ago, wondering what we would grow up to be. Did she ever imagine she would be sleeping in an empty lot, depending on the kindness of strangers?»

via Making the invisible visible – Megan Cottrell – One Story Up – True/Slant.

Get a Job

I don’t get it.  How do people develop such hard hearts?  When I hear people saying things like “Why don’t they get a job?” I can at least put that down to stupidity.  Especially during a time when people WITH homes and easy access to showers and clean clothes and alarm clocks are having a hard time finding jobs.  People who say get a job just plain aren’t thinking.

But then there are people like the guy who posted the comment below, found in an article on how the heat wave is affecting the homeless.  Let him die?  Let him die?  Who raised this person?  What happened to him in his life to make him so dismissive of another human life, a life he knows nothing about?

He makes me want to write a short story.  The plot of the story is this guy in danger for his life somewhere.  Drowning, maybe.  Fallen off the edge of a L platform with a train rushing toward him.  Then a hand reaches out, pulls him to safety.  The hero walks away without waiting for a word of appreciation.  It isn’t till later it is discovered the person who saved him was the homeless guy he calls a worthless individual.  The sad thing is I’m not sure what the ending is.  Will this guy change his tune and start to look at people differently?  Or is his heart too hard to ever open his eyes?  What do you think?

I am sick of these bleeding heart stories. As a taxpayer, I resent that my taxes are being used to fund “services” for these losers. If he doesn’t like the climate, why does he stay here? He has been homeless for his entire adult life…let him die. He is a worthless individual who will continue to expect the rest of us to support him for the rest of his life.

via Heat Wave Especially Hard On The Homeless « CBS Chicago.