No one, on this planet, should be homeless. And yet, many people are without roof over their heads. This is a crisis that we must address.
There is a winter storm alert right now. As I look out the window, I see snow, continuously falling. I thank God that I have a roof over my head and food on the table. And still, I spent time preparing for the snowstorm – buying groceries and supplies. I checked to make sure that I have flashlights and batteries in case of power outage. I made sure that I have drinking water, gas in the car, etc.
But then, I think about people who are homeless. They are human beings of flesh and blood who do not have a home. There are many homeless people in Madison, as well as in many other cities across America.
Some are homeless because they made poor financial decisions in life; some are homeless because they suffered from catastrophic life events; some are patients of physical and/or mental health problems that prevent them from earning a decent income; and others may be victims of unfortunate circumstances. Whatever the reason may be, there are many homeless individuals and families in Madison, and across the United States.
I believe that society has a responsibility to try to address the problem of homelessness. On days like this when it is freezing outside, I worry about those without a home. There are also many military veterans who served the country and are now homeless.
The government – local, state, and federal – failed to solve the homelessness crisis. The government – with all the bureaucratic red tape and one-size-fits-all initiatives and policies – often fails to solve various pressing problems in communities across the country. A policy that works in New York may not work in Madison. An initiative that can be implemented in Chicago may not be feasible for San Francisco. An effort that could solve a problem in Texas may not work in Florida.
To address homelessness, leaders must work on creating tailored approaches that focus on the specific needs facing a community. Efforts must be multi-disciplinary, involving experts specializing in various fields – economics, political science, sociology, medicine and public health, law, etc. Addressing homelessness requires a comprehensive approach.
It is time to seriously work on solving the issue of homelessness. Let us utilize our best efforts to make sure that our fellow citizens have roof over their heads and the warmth of home.