Fighting the Battle on Homelessness
All over the nation, homelessness is a problem. But how are we dealing with it in Colorado.
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Imagine walking down the street, squinting as you shield your face from a mix of wet, heavy snowflakes and bitter cold wind.
And instead of getting closer to your car to take you home, you are frantically scouring for any type of shelter that will keep you and your son safe for at least one more snowy night.
Now, imagine holding your autistic son close, and not knowing how to answer the question of, “Where are we staying tonight?”
Last Tuesday night, Arvada police officers were called to a new apartment building on account of trespassers in an unoccupied apartment.
A mother was found with her autistic son, holding the lock behind a closed door, trying to persuade security that they had no other option–that they had nowhere else to go.
The officers pulled out their list of homeless shelters and churches recommended by the government, and after an hour of standing in the storm, they had no luck–not one shelter answered their calls.
The apartment building had no intention of pressing charges, however, the police officers still needed to find somewhere for the mother and son to legally stay for the night.
After several more unanswered phone calls, a woman and her baby walked out of the apartment building. She asked if the pair was homeless, and offered to pay food and hotel fees for the night.
The officers were amazed at the kindness and generosity of the anonymous woman, when an entire list of government provided services failed to support the homeless duo.
The mother and her son are safe and warm for the night, yet they awake the next morning in the same predicament.
Homelessness is not a one-night/one-storm issue — it is widespread and happens more often than you know.
When weather conditions are inhumane, churches and homeless shelters are filled to capacity.
Society must try harder to provide alternative options for the homeless in times of need — the times that we take our comfort for granted.