Homeless for the Holidays

Don’t worry, our house didn’t burn down and we are not homeless for the holidays. We have plenty of friends and relatives who would take us in if that were the case. But some people are homeless for the holidays and have been homeless for quite some time.

I don’t personally know of anyone who is homeless in our area but I know there are some people in Duluth without homes. I don’t know if they live together or where they live or how they live as our winters are quite brutal. I read an article online about a tent encampment outside of Detroit, Michigan and at the bottom of the page there were photos of a tent city in California.

I can honestly say I was shocked with what I saw. Call me naive but I never knew a place like that existed in the United States. I know people live in poverty and in ramshackled houses but those photos reminded me of third world countries after being hit by a Tsunami or hurricane.  I can’t begin to imagine how awful their situation must be. I don’t know how they can do it and survive.

They live amongst garbage that must smell terrible. They have little or no privacy and most likely all of their belongings fit into a shopping cart.  What are they going to do for the holidays?

Those people are going to be homeless for the holidays and will still be homeless when the holidays are over. While some people complain about having to travel 5 hours to a relative’s home or about it being too hot in their Grandma’s house there are people who will be cold, hungry and stuck in a desperate situation while we enjoy a Merry Christmas receiving more “stuff” than we can probably fit into the Suburban. Then we’ll add all of that stuff to the tons of stuff we already have while those people will still be homeless.

Why are we so lucky? Why are we so fortunate to have everything we have? I wonder if there is that big of a difference between the lives of the homeless and the lives we live. I wonder where their families are? I wonder how I can make a difference. While I ponder that question I will be forever grateful of the many blessings I have received and will receive this holiday season.

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