I called it. I knew that “1 in 50″ children sounded a bit like an exaggeration, and the only people who would actually believe that statistic probably don’t leave their yuppy gated communities very often.
If we went by the National Center on Family Homelessness’s definition of “homelessness”, then I can definitely claim that I have been “homeless” several times in my life. There were points in my unstable childhood when we were living with my aunt and her kids, or my grandparents, and a point after my mom died that I was staying with friends. I got to tell you, I never thought of myself as being as “in need” as this report would have you believe I was. Have I ever been without food, shelter, clothes, shoes, education, an address, or cable? No.
There are kids in this country whose parents are in a bad enough situation that they can’t even find say they have a family member or friend with a place for them to sleep in. They find themselves sleeping in crowded shelters and eating out of soup kitchens. The number of those kids is substantially lower than this initial report states, but in a country as prosperous as ours, it’s still no less disturbing. I know it’s cliche, but our biggest health problem is OBESITY and there are still some people in this country that can’t be guaranteed a meal. It’s…it’s a little…sad.
Poverty in America is very different from, say, poverty in Central/South America, Africa, or parts of Asia. In other parts of the world people aren’t given the opportunity to improve their situations. There isn’t enough work for people to take on, and unless you are born into a particular family or cast, access to education isn’t possible. There just aren’t any opportunities and you kind of have to accept your situation, unless you find a way to leave the country. Poverty here is very different. Poverty is not a condition that you are stuck with your entire life, it’s not a disease like some people want you to think. You can, if you stick to your guns, go to school free of charge, and even make it to college for at least 2 years with grants and scholarships, and then get a job and dig your way out and live fairly comfortably. If you work really hard and are really talented you can even become filthy rich. Literally, your fate is in your hands. What am I getting at with this? I think you can figure it out. We’ve got it pretty cushy in this country so don’t go getting all anti-super-rich-corporation, you hippy knucklehead.