Written by Lauren Buser. Media by Baylen Whitfield
Many of us were taught to help those in need and to care for those less fortunate than ourselves. In today’s society, however, this is frowned upon. More and more cities are making it illegal to help the homeless or those who beg on the streets. For many, the question becomes: what do we do about this and how is it that we can uphold civil morals while abiding by the law?
According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, there are over 600,000 people homeless every night. Out of that number, 138,149 are minors, or under the age of 18. What’s even more difficult to comprehend is that 35% of these people are not housed by a shelter or any other facility.
So Let’s Help!
The answer is simple. Or, at least, it seems that way. Let’s help these people. The only catch to this is that our bigger cities, where there are more people on the streets, are making it illegal for anyone to help the homeless. In fact, over 33 cities have already made this illegal and St. Louis, Missouri is next. These cities want these people off the streets because they feel it is bad for tourism. They want these people to be in shelters, not out on the street, but many factors go into this. When someone becomes completely helpless and needs assistance from professionals, it can cause self-esteem issues in that person. This, in addition to an oversaturation in homeless population comparatively to the space available, is why many of these people are on the streets instead of in shelters. The struggle is that we are torn between humanity and the law. A woman who graduated from Greenville College is helping the city of St. Louis with her Bags of Blessings! Nothing is going to stop her.
Katie Schmierbach is a Greenville College Alum who has created a way to help the homeless. Her empathy toward this group of people started when she took a vacation up to Chicago. Even at the young age of seven, Katie saw the needs of these men and women. She now delivers care packages called Bags of Blessings all over and loves for others to help. If you feel compelled please visit her website and learn more about Katie Cares!
A Little Story
This story was told by an elderly man and is a perfect reminder that you can make a difference!
An elderly man was walking along the seashore early in the morning after the tide had gone back. There were millions of starfish lying there in the sand which didn’t make it back with the tide. This man saw a little boy out throwing the starfish back out past the wake. “Hey kid, why are you doing that?” The man asked, “You will never get them all back into the ocean.” The small boy looked up solemnly at the man, holding a starfish in his hand. He stood there and then firmly said, “But it makes a difference to this one, sir.”