Recently a homeless woman knocked on my front door. She asked if I could store what little belongings she had with her. She and her boyfriend were checking in a local motel for a few days. I acquiesced, hoping that she would come and retrieve them the next day. It's been a week but she came back today. She walked 3 miles in the snow before she arrived at my door. Once again, she asked if I would keep a bag with the rest of her belongings in it as her boyfriend had kicked her out of the motel room. When she left my home she took with her one glove, a miniature hammer for protection, and her lighter.
Many believe that she is homeless by choice. Many believe that she is getting what she deserves. I have a different perspective. You see, I have been homeless. I understand the devastation of having no support and no warmth. Why do I care now about this homeless person that I don't even know? I remember while living in a shelter a prosecuting attorney came to visit me. He wanted to know how I was and after finding out that I was a communications major in college, offered me a job. After my employment as the head legal secretary for the prosecutor, I went on to become an Accredited Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, a justice advocate, and now am working on my second book.
What this homeless woman may never know, unless she stops by tonight, is that I found her a bed in a local shelter. She is out, in the cold, looking for a sleeping bag and for someone who may allow her to stay in their garage. I thought about jumping in the car and driving around this town until I found her, but that would be futile.
I don't know if we are to give up altogether on those who are suffering. Who am I to judge; I've been there. I understand.