Over the holidays, my daughter Katelyn Wood Best composed a song illuminating the plight of the homeless.
You can hear the song here.
This touched my heart.
Listening to it galvanized my thoughts into researching the extent of this problem in America and in Wisconsin.
The problem is enormous. It does not have to be if we all face it together.
Just think for a moment. When did you last miss a meal? When did you last sleep outside on a bench or in a park?
Hopefully your answers are “can’t remember” and “never” respectively. But for some among us, the answer is “recently” or “today.”
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, over a half a million people are homeless in our country; in Wisconsin the number is nearly 5,000. Homelessness means not having a secure roof to sleep under nor knowing where the next day’s meals are coming from.
These are people from all walks of life. Some had strings of bad luck. Some are veterans who fought for our freedom but couldn’t assimilate back into previous lives. Some have lost out because of the dramatic changes that have taken place in the workplace over the past few decades.
It’s hard to believe that in this magnificent country of ours so many people are invisible and left behind.
While it’s hard to change the world overnight, we can at least try to change it in our own backyard by taking some form of responsibility whether financial or otherwise.
Please consider donating your time and money to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness and/or to your local food pantry or homeless shelter.
Let’s all take responsibility and address the plight of the homeless here in Wisconsin.
We can lead the way for other states to follow in eradicating homelessness in America.
Patrick J. Wood