On a single night in 2013, there were 610,042 people homeless people in our nation. On our daily commute we often see a homeless person or a family on the way, but how often do we consider who they are or their story?
A new campaign, Rethink Homelessness, is encouraging us to overlook the stereotypes that surround people who don’t have a permanent roof over their head.
The campaign is sharing incredible stories from the homeless in Orlando, Florida, including those of struggling with serious illnesses, accomplished athletes, college graduates and so much more to change our perspective. Not every homeless person is jobless or has committed a crime; about 80% are families and children who had their lives turned upside down by one event such as a health condition or getting laid off.
Florida contains about 8% of the homeless population in the US, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The state is considered the most dangerous place for the homeless with a high number of hate crimes, low wages and an increased likelihood of being arrested. However, Impact Homelessness believes its message of compassion and understanding can prompt positive change.
What can you do to help? Share your compassion with others; inspire new outlooks about how people become homeless. You can also get involved directly by volunteering at non-profit organizations that work with those without a home. Every action matters from donating your spare change or clothes taking up place in your closet. Homelessness can affect anyone, be kind to others!