Los Angeles Mom Rachel Clark posted this open letter about homelessness in a Facebook group to which I belong. This isn’t my usual style of post, but I found it an honest reality check and important reminder- it’s so important to remember there is not only another side to the story, but probably 3 or 4 sides that we just don’t even see. I wanted to share it with you all. She said:
“I sincerely need to say this. This is addressing homelessness in this entire state. You have 3 groups of homeless.
#1 The ones that talk to themselves with shopping carts overflowing and who are often combative. These are your mentally ill. Usually NOT doing drugs. They are mentally #$%&*.
#2 The ones on bikes or in the park with a tent maybe and they can hold a pretty decent convo. But they refuse help to get a home. These are the addicts.
#3 The hidden homeless who live in vans, cars, motels, etc. These are the ones who you don’t see very often or at all. These are your cashiers, fast food workers, janitors, teachers, caretakers and even social workers. They greet you in the school offices and fix your appliances at your apts. These are the people like ME.
I am tired to death of hearing snotty stuck up people talk about the homeless as if all are non-working welfare receiving addicts. In fact MOST are the hidden ones, like my family was barely 3 wks ago. I work for the county of Riverside yet we slept in a van. I got us up at 5am daily to go to the hospital and wash our asses. I went to the laundromat weekly to wash our clothing. Kids were getting awards one by one while sleeping in a van. My husband fixes your crap at your apt. I caretake through the county.
We lived in L.A. and they sent us to the crappiest motel in Rosemead. I took pics of the dungeon and showed it to them. They rectified the matter.
Listen, I pay taxes too. On this day I get n0 food stamps, n0 medical and n0 cash aid. Hoping that changes at noon today.
Everyone cannot be rocket scientists or brain surgeons. If it wasn’t for the “low wage” working scum like myself your kids wouldn’t enjoy ice cream and burgers.
YES those tents and campers are a health hazard like a MF. So STOP PROTESTING EVERY TIME SOMEONE TRIES TO CREATE COMMUNITY HOUSING FOR THE HAVE NOTS. Either have them as your neighbors in a HOME OR have them as your neighbors on your front lawn in a tent. Stop being so uppity.
I’m very happy we are off of the streets. But I will NEVER forget that we slept in our van for a month. We are ALL ONE FIRE, ONE ILLNESS, ONE EARTHQUAKE, ONE ASSAULT, ONE DEATH IN THE HOME, ONE PAYCHECK AWAY FROM BEING HOMELESS. If you get nowhere no matter how hard you try just make sure you’re strong enough to avoid the liquor bottle to cope. Cause contrary to popular beliefs those addicts didn’t INITIALLY plan to live on the streets.”
For my fellow California Moms. Here are some stats on homelessness that I bet you didn’t know:
- There are more than 3,000 homeless children in Los Angeles. 75% of them are categorically “unsheltered.”
- The State of California has more than 20,000 homeless families with children.
- California reported the largest numbers of unaccompanied homeless children and youth, at 11,222 people or 31% of the national total.
- 96% of the homeless in New York City are “Sheltered” (the other highest population of homeless in the US) versus 25% in Los Angeles.
These are just a few highlights about homeless in California and Los Angeles. See the Fact Sheet for more info in these areas, and nationwide.
Thank you for sharing, Rachel. I am happy to hear you are no longer homeless, and I hope you got that extra help you needed 🙂
How you can help homeless where you live:
- Find the social media sites of those doing good work, follow them, like all their posts, comment on their posts. Social media is powerful and even without money you can use your social power to help them reach people who have money.
- Call your local Veterans Association, find out what items they need, ask your friends to put them aside during Spring cleaning and dedicate a morning to pick them all up and dropping off at Veterans.
- Ask you school Principal if he/she knows of homeless children in school, and ask what those kids need. Backpacks? Socks? Jackets? Gloves? School supplies? They won’t be able to violate their privacy and tell you who they are but they may be able to facilitate getting the items where they need to go.
- Check Volunteer Match for volunteers needed in your area.
Other suggestions, in general or for Los Angeles? Please DM me or comment! Thanks for reading 🙂