Did you know that there are over 1,500 homeless people in Birmingham? Homelessness is an epidemic spreading quickly across the United States. There is a huge variety of reasons why someone might be homeless. They could have lost their job, their job might not pay enough for them to afford adequate housing, they could be a veteran who came home and didn't have a job or a place to stay, or they could be a child whose parents kicked them out of their house. Just because someone is homeless does not mean that they are lazy or not trying to get off the streets. Many homeless people also have mental health issues, which can prevent them from holding a decent job. On any given night, there are around 600,000 (over half a million) people sleeping on the streets in the US. About one-quarter of these people are children. Their parents could have been substance abusers, they could be orphans, they could be victims of domestic abuse, or their parents could have forced them to leave their home. Many of these kids are not of legal working age or are unable to get hired anywhere because of their age and 'unprofessional' look. This is also a problem for many homeless people. They need to look good to have a job, but you have to have a job and money to look good. Henceforth the endless cycle of joblessness. Also, considering how much America loves our veterans, it comes as a surprise to many that over 57,000 veterans are homeless, with around 5,000 of them being women. As living prices increase, so do the number of homeless people on the streets each night.
We as troop 350 cadettes hope to help some of these people in our city of Birmingham, AL. Over the past year, we have been doing many service projects involving homelessness:
- Firehouse Shelter: preparing and serving meals
- Highlands United Methodist Church:Made breakfast casseroles on a Friday night and served them to the homless on Saturday morning
- Family Promise: Prepared and served a meal to three homeless families and spent the evening playing games and cookie decorating
- One Roof-Point in Time- Made 240 hygeine packs for Point in Time annual homeless census
- Homeless 101- Spent three hours with Michelle Farley director of One Roof learning about all the reasons people become homeless
After doing all these projects and activities, and learning so much about homelessness, we are so excited to help all of these people in Birmingham. Please donate to help buy life-changing backpacks for the homeless! Thank you!