I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook for numerous reasons. This post is going to briefly talk about one in relation to another subject. I saw a post the other day on the page of a local group that is concerned with local issues. Someone posted a question asking if there are any homeless shelters in town. (The answer is yes, there is one but it is full and has a waiting list.) It wasn’t the question that bothered me, but the answers.
The person who posed the question had run across a homeless person on her street and was concerned about him. The majority of the answers all included a variation of the same statement: “Someone needs to do something”; “Why don’t they so something”; “How come no one helps them”? Each of these points a finger at someone else, they, no one, someone. None of them contains anyone proposing any actions or solutions, they are all waiting for someone else.
I will say this before anyone who read that post starts complaining, there were a couple of people who did say things like they brought food or blankets to these people. But the majority all said how sad it was but it wasn’t their problem. And this is one of the issues I have with Facebook. People are quick to complain and point fingers but slow to actually do anything. “Liking” and “Sharing” a page or a comment isn’t doing anything. How often do we see a post such as “Like and share this page if you support (enter your favorite cause here)” The page has 20,000 likes. Has that changed anything? Liked and forgotten. Oh, I am sure the person who liked the page feels good because they did something, but, in our case, the man is still living in his car.
The other thing that bothers me about this type of thing is how everyone becomes an expert with their solutions. In this case, it somehow was the fault of the Catholic Church that there was no place for the homeless to go. I will write more about this in my other blog, but it seemed to be the consensus of some that the local parish has all kinds of property and money and they could open up all kinds of space providing food and shelter. As a member of this parish, I know this not to be true. Oh, by the way, the one shelter in town is supported by the local parish and the other churches in town.
My point is that instead of waiting or expecting someone else to do something, why don’t you say “How about us?” Why don’t we look around for space for a shelter and then go about going through whatever it takes to open it? How about taking the initiative of working with others to open a soup kitchen? Maybe go to local businesses and find some kind of employment for the homeless that want to work and get back on their feet? I know it is easier to have someone else do it.
There are many reasons people are homeless. Some choose to be, most do not. And there are many services provided for them in some areas, mostly the larger cities. But here in small-town USA there aren’t nearly enough if any. Especially when no one says “What about us?”
If you would like to learn more about St. Luke’s Guest House, the only homeless shelter in this area, please click on this link. You can also donate here as well. You can also easily search the internet for shelters in your area.