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Addressing homelessness as it applies to us all

From the May 1996 issue of The Christian Science Journal

It would seem presumptuous for one who has never experienced dire hunger or deprivation to claim to understand first-hand the suffering of the multitudes who are living on sidewalks and in desert wastelands—destitute, often starving, and forlorn. When you think about it, however, many of us (including the writer) have experienced something of this misery of homelessness—when our homes have broken up, or when our jobs have been phased out and it seems that no affordable housing can be found, or when we've arrived at a point of simply feeling rejected, unwanted, lonely, without roots.

As I have pondered this problem, the conviction has grown that whatever form it takes and whomever it afflicts, all phases of this evil of homelessness have factors in common. And with this conviction has come a certain feeling of kinship with our many fellow beings whom society today classifies as "the homeless." I no longer think of them as nameless masses set apart from me. In a heartfelt sense, I can relate to them. This has deepened my longing to help.

Of course, one can donate to worthy charities in order to assist in meeting the immediate need for food and shelter. But I ask myself, "What can I do to help eradicate homelessness for us all—in the broad sense and in the long run?"

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