I live in a picturesque town in the middle of America.
On Sunday, here on our picturesque Main Street, a handful of folks gathered to talk about homelessness and hunger in our little town, in our little county, in our little corner of rural America. You might not know that this week, the week of Thanksgiving–when most of us get to eat lots of food, visit with families, and count our blessings–is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Some of us who gathered were community organizers, some musicians, some just concerned citizens. I fall into the latter category.
From one concerned citizen to another, no matter where you live, here’s what I found out.
The Amen House, one of my little town’s local nonprofits that offers emergency assistance to folks in need, is giving assistance on average to 350 families per month. Did you read that correctly? 350 families, no repeats, per month. And they report to be registering approximately thirty new families each month. Remember that I live in a very little town. These are single-parent and dual-parent families, grandparent-led families, white, Hispanic, and black families. The economic crisis is affecting lots of us. There are thousands of people, even here in my little town, who don’t have enough food to eat.
Look at that photo again. Not much homelessness or hunger in sight.
But it’s there, folks.
And it’s not far from where you live either.
I guarantee it.