"Blessed are the Homeless"

homeless_people_dont_deserve_your_pity“Blessed be the homeless for they shall find their way home.” Sounds like it should be included in the ‘Beatitudes of Jesus’ from the Book of Matthew doesn’t it? It has that sort of ring to it. Actually  it’s one of several new ‘Be-Attitudes’ as penned by satirist Tony Hendra in his novel “The Messiah of Morris Avenue.”

Set in the not too distant future, where religion and government have partnered up and run the country with a firm hand. It tells the story of the second coming of Christ, only this time around his name is Jay and instead of walking or traveling by donkey, He makes his way across New Jersey by car preaching the good word and performing miracles along the way. I know it sounds a little weird, but it’s really a good read.  Hendra’s  ‘Be-Attitudes’ are interesting and reflect his somewhat twisted view on life. I guess that’s why I enjoyed the read.  Check these ‘Be-Attitudes’ out.

Blessed be the homeless, for they shall find their way home.                                                      Blessed are the imperfect, for they know that no one is perfect.                                                 Blessed are the lovers, for they become one.                                                                                   Blessed are the cowards, for they have killed no one.                                                                   Blessed are the homely, for without them there’s no beauty.                                                       Blessed are the generous, for they know their riches belong to others.                                     Blessed are the doubters, for doubt is the path to truth.                                                             Blessed are the worms, for they turn death into life.                                                                     Blessed are the shadows, for they define the light.                                                                         Blessed are the dead,  for they know the answer…

Pretty crazy huh? But when you stop and think about them, some actually begin to make sense. I particularly like the one about homelessness the best. It is so relevant to today. I wish there was a way that we could make it happen now. Something needs to happen soon.

Our current homelessness problem is not going away anytime soon my friends.  The estimated number of homeless in the nation is approximately 600,000. Nearly 50,000 of them are veterans. Here in Los Angeles County, despite an improving economy there are an estimated 254,000 homeless, an increase of 12% over the last two years, of those 3450 are veterans. On any given night there are approximately 82,000 homeless in Los Angeles,

Sadly the city Los Angeles leads the country in the number of chronically homeless. The chronically homeless are defined as unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who have been living on the street continuously for a year or more, or who land in the street several times over three years. More than one third of the nations chronically homeless reside right here in California. We also lead the country in the number of homeless veterans. It’s not a very pretty picture, and with the high volume of rain we’re expecting to receive due to El Nino it can only get worse unless something is done soon.

Here in Los Angeles County and across the nation the biggest problem in helping the homeless is the lack of affordable housing and the lack of shelters. Here in Los Angeles the city has fallen way behind in building such housing and blames federal funding cutbacks as the culprit. The situation has gotten so bad that the city council last week declared a shelter crisis and authorized people sleeping in their vehicles to park in church parking lots. Good move, but what about the rest of the homeless, the ones awaiting help from over burdened programs and the ones turned away from over crowed shelters, What do they do? Where do they go?

Certainly there are a growing number of state and federal programs in operation and more being implemented  as well as private programs, still the numbers continue to grow.  I know that there’s a great deal of discussion being done and many plans are in the works and that is all well and good, but the fact is the homeless need the help now. This is an intolerable situation. A state of emergency should be declared. This is an emergency situation.

Remember these are not the bums, vagrants and transients who are usually associate with homelessness, no, many are people like you and I, victims of the economy, unfortunate victims of life who have lost jobs, lost homes, become ill and are now forced to live on the streets, abandoned buildings,or out of a vehicle. Individuals, families with children, the mentally ill and veterans out there who need help and need to be protected. In fact the number of homeless with children has also risen 12% over the last two years in L.A. County. We need more shelters and transitional housing and we need them now. Enough with the rhetoric and planning. We’ve got plenty of plans on how to assist the homeless. What we need now is action. “Blessed be the homeless for they shall find their way home.”

Just Saying…stickerman-3




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