Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000


Take Someone by the Hand

We can help improve the lives of the unhoused.

An encampment near Rowland Road with an ironic real estate sign. Paula E. Kirman

No one becomes houseless by choice. Who are those people, living in the tents outside, standing in line to receive a bit of free food, and shivering from the cold? 

For us who live in warm houses and have food every day, it is difficult to imagine that somewhere outside there are people who are cold, who have nothing to eat, as well as do not have roofs over their heads. Certainly, it is easy to lower your head and imagine as if you do not notice them. When I look at those people standing in lines, I imagine them as being very similar to us. They all went to school and had plans regarding the future, but life turned out differently. 

World Homeless Day was observed on October 10th. This was a day to remind ourselves that every person is firstly a human and requires our help, since each one of us could have ended up being in a similar situation. Many individuals ended up in this situation as a result of many reasons: the inability to provide for themselves as a result of losing stable employment, various mental illnesses, being addicted to alcohol or drugs, or because the individual is lonely and no one wants them. None of us ever imagines that we can become houseless. A war or natural disaster can strike at any moment - no one is insured from that. 

Many organizations provide the houseless with free food, but that is only the fish being put on the table. It is better to give them the hook to be able to catch that fish by providing the houseless with stable employment. When an individual is sinking, we throw a life jacket to help those individuals survive. In a similar manner, we need to stretch a helping hand to the houseless when they need it the most. The opportunity must be provided for the houseless before they become indifferent towards living. If even one out of ten broken fates will be changed, that is already a success. 

In order to improve the situation for the houseless, it is important to provide them with the basic means of survival through social housing and expanded social programs. We are all humans, and we all can fall. If we stretch our helping hand to the fallen, one day we will always be given that helping hand. 

Natanel Krieksfeld is a grade 10 student at St. Joseph High School.

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