The Face of Homelessness

What is the image that comes to mind when thinking about a homeless person?

“Usually dirty, drunk, and very stupid sounding, they just ask for money, or demand it.”

This was a quote taken from Thehomelesspresident’s Blog.  The author of this blog is a man who became homeless when he was 12 years old.  He has continuously tried to work his way out of homelessness and has been from place to place going from job to job.  You can read his About Me page to hear his story in greater detail.

When I read his blog post titled “Homeless, Alcoholism, Drug Addicition,” it made me think about WHO was exactly the face of homeless.  And, I agree with the blog author when he says that most people think about the person who sits on the corner or panhandles by a highway exit, who is very unkempt, and looks high and drunk.  I had an opportunity to tag-a-long with HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program‘s Outreach team who took me to the places where you see the people who are living without a home!  And sure, we saw people who were drunk and/or high, but the fact is that there are not as many as one might think.

The real face of homelessness are:

  • FAMILIES who make up 40% of the homeless population in Indianapolis
  • CHILDREN who make up almost 25% of this same population
  • PEOPLE just like you and me, who just need a WAY out

You can help these people.  Spreading awareness about the face of homelessness can go a long way.  Or, donating to the Homeless Initiative Program hereThe number of homeless individuals on the street rose by 40% in 2009.  A small amount of your time can go a LONG way.

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