“Home is where the heart is.”
It’s a proverb that I used to think was a cliché, until the Internet proved me wrong. According to a definition put forth by an online dictionary published by Oxford, the saying means that “your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are.”
There’s no denying that for many, the word “home” has associations of warmth, love, and family.Yet for others, “home” is a place of strife and pain. I’m thinking about people trapped in cycles of abuse, who can’t leave out of fear or economics or simply having nowhere else to go. For them there is no heart to the home. Maybe some who have unhappy homes, have memories of a better time and place – a home for which their hearts long.
Homelessness is a social issue that affects this area in very visible ways. I have witnessed that for some people without secure housing, their “heart” is their community of peers on the street or the shelters, not to mention the hard-working support staff who keep those agencies functioning.
“Home” is more than just four walls. It is the people within it who make a house a home – just like it is the people who live in a neighbourhood that make it a community. People who call the inner city home have houses, apartments, surf couches, or sleep on shelter mats. They are all part of the mosaic that puts the “heart” into this area and make it a place of diversity and compassion.