My Home and Black Plastic Bags

I know I have written so much lately about building our house, moving in, getting settled. One day in a parking lot this observation drew me up short.

Observation: Her life was contained in black plastic bags within her car.

There is a glib saying going around about “that is a first world problem.”

Miriam Webster defines that as a “usually minor or trivial problem or annoyance experienced by people in relatively affluent or privileged circumstances especially as contrasted with problems of greater social significance facing people in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world. In terms of first world problems, the biggest one is probably a cracked phone screen.— Ben Sin”

Likely to the woman living out of the plastic bags in her car this seemed like more than a first world problem. Homelessness in America is a big deal. We ought to be able to solve it. Though I do not have a clue as to how.

Some of my husband’s relatives live in Oakland, California. Each time we visit we are shocked by how the homeless encampments have grown as well as the controversy surrounding them. America has got to do better.

Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. Poor people are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, childcare, health care, and education. Difficult choices must be made when limited resources cover only some of these necessities. Often it is housing, which absorbs a high proportion of income that must be dropped. If you are poor, you are essentially an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets.

Some of the other reasons listed at that site are lack of employment opportunities, decline in available public assistance, decline in affordable healthcare, domestic violence, mental illness and addiction.

Approximately 650,000  Americans are homeless on any given night of which:

  • 140,000 are kids under 18
  • 57,000 are Vets
  • 60,000 are college students
  • 4 million homeless kids attend our public schools.

We each need to donate to National Coalition for the Homeless or buy a t-shirt from ChariTEES and wear it , make National Coalition for the Homeless your AmazonSmile donation choice, or DO something.

Billy Graham wrote,”You’re probably thinking of Jesus’ words in John 12:8: “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” His words were directed at Judas (who would soon betray Him), admonishing him because he was more interested in getting money for himself than in serving Jesus.”

Father, I pray You will not let us be content to be like Judas. Help us to see Your love and concern for the poor. Help us to make a difference on Your behalf. Amen.

One thought on “My Home and Black Plastic Bags

  1. Each person on the streets has a story of how they got there. As you say, there are many reasons. I would guess a low percentage are there by choice Hunger and homelessness are solvable in this country. At this time, we seem to have other priorities.


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