by Amanda Quraishi
I’ll be doing this in a series of posts. Far too much happened this weekend for me to really sit down and write in a single sitting. But I wanted to at least get something out this afternoon while my emotion is still raw.
I. Am. Angry.
I’m angry that there are thousands of people living on the streets of my city (and every other major city in this country) who are ignored, overlooked and derided for simply not having the resources they need to improve their lot in life.
I’m angry that people in our society are far more concerned about bickering over HOW to help these people than they are about actually helping them.
I’m angry that people judge the homeless mercilessly–even those of us who try to help them–without truly understanding what limitations they are working with.
And I am angry at myself that I have been working for Mobile Loaves & Fishes for almost a year and a half without having actually gone out on the streets to attempt to gain an understanding of what they are really struggling with. I’m embarrassed that I would even attempt to advocate for them without any practical knowledge of their plight.
Know this: What I experienced this weekend was NOT homelessness. I experienced some of the discomfort of homelessness, and I experienced some of the services that are provided to the homeless. But I had no desperation, no dependencies, and no real fear for my life or health.
I learned so much about what I DON’T know about homelessness this weekend. And for that I am truly thankful.