It’s astounding we have such a tremendous number of homeless Americans in this country, when America is still the richest country on the planet. So many of our homeless are veterans, who number 75,000 on any given night. Greater than 5% of our homeless are actually veterans who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. We often hear of the “fraud” that’s uncovered when an investigation is launched into a suspicious case, where a random person pretends to be homeless, and people actually admonish you for giving to the sad person at a stoplight because they’re convinced the stories on Fox News are true. Everyone is gaming the system, if you ask the right wing media. Everyone is a fraud.
This is the mentality of the me, me,me Republican party and the Christian Fundamentalist movement that has dominated our politics. The Dominionists were the ones calling for a government shutdown rather than honor the debt already accrued by the country, they are the ones who think charity is no longer necessary for a moral society. The wealthy needn’t worry about the “eye of the camel.” Poverty (is) seen as the result of moral failure. Rendering unto Caesar (the Government) (is) no longer the moral thing to do. The mentality that it’s the poor person’s fault they don’t have a home or a job has been promoted ever since Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America has eviscerated the middle class and increased income inequality. The statistics tell a different tale. Poverty is a real problem in America and being a homeless family is more common than we’d like to think.
Shanesha Taylor, a homeless mother of two children: a six month old and two year old, was forced to leave her children in a car unattended while she was at a job interview in the city of Chandler, Arizona. Upon hearing a cry from the car, a passer-by called the police. Shanesha had no choice but to leave her kids alone while interviewing for a job. Shanesha, like so many Americans, are living out of their cars and need a source of income. Devastated at being charged with child endangerment, she faces jail time and losing custody of her children. The story made the news and this was the most fortunate thing to happen to this woman living in poverty.
Amanda Bishop, a twenty-four year old fellow citizen, was moved by the heart-wrenching police photo. She set up a fund on behalf of Shanesha that has raised over $71,000 as of April 1st. Naturally, on the website, there were those who thought she was undeserving, endangering her children. But thankfully, there were enough people out there with a sense of compassion and decency in their hearts to give to a fellow human being in need. It’s obvious there are far too many people now considered the working poor who were once considered middle-class. The cost of living has gone up while wages have gone down. With the exportation of so many jobs with unfavorable trade agreements lowering the amount of money per hour a worker can earn, people have to hold down two or more jobs just to subsist.
It’s nice to see people behaving like human beings and coalescing to help someone in need. It’s time these theocratic “Christian” conservatives stop promoting unfair stereotypes and discouraging charitable giving. People need programs like SNAP, Medicaid and Head Start to be funded more in times of economic crisis, not cut to ribbons like budget-makers in the GOP would like. Congressman Paul Ryan has been absolutely savage in his cruel budget cuts that hurt the poor while giving sickening tax breaks to giant corporations. Austerity is never the answer when people are suffering. It’s time people elect representatives that will help the poor and fix the income inequality that creates poverty in a country of such wealth. Democrats have always been the party who enacts legislation that benefits the majority of the population, especially women and children who make up the majority of the poor. Stop electing Republicans and we’ll improve America for all Americans, not just the one percent.