The holiday season has come to an end. Holiday cheer has faded and the everyday busyness will resume. The decor has returned to normal, the lights have been taken down. The sounds of jingle bells is now replaced with a voice gently asking “can you spare some change?”
Even though the holidays are gone and the world is returning to normal, homelessness will remain the same. The man that ate so well during Thanksgiving and Christmas will plead for a sandwich in January. Though not intentional something happens and the homeless become forgotten. The urgency to give becomes lost in the New Year. That same woman and child that needed toys for the holidays will need food this month; that child will need school supplies in August. That man standing on the corner during the day will need a blanket to keep warm on cold February nights.
Homelessness never takes a holiday. The need never fades away. It never considers the season. If poverty only came once a year, I wonder how different this world would be?
The reality is homelessness remains throughout the year. It remains weather we choose to recognize it or not. The reality is that we should be uncomfortable with the lack of love and compassion as it decreases after the holiday season.
We should be unable to rest knowing that as the snow falls fear fills the heart of another human being who will need to struggle to find shelter. The comfort a child feels walking in tattered shoes with no socks should be our discomfort.
There’s not one answer or one “fix” to homelessness. But there can be a change to the solution of how we allow it to exist in our communities. We have to be the consistent giver throughout the year. We have to remain compassionate and consistent throughout the year.
I urge you to continue to find time to volunteer with a local agency. Collect supplies each month and drop them off. Make a donation to help a program servicing the homeless in your community. It’s really that easy to give all year. So many lives will be touched by your compassion.
We can spend forever talking about the cause of homelessness but regardless of what caused them to reach that state of existing, one thing remains; they are homeless but still humans.