The wind is howling and it is COLD. 20’s, I think. Many nights I lay myself to bed thinking of those colder and more vulnerable than I. People experiencing homelessness, who may not have a blanket, let alone shelter. I am in a heated room with one blanket and one down comforter and long sleeved pjs…. and still cold… and feeling ridiculous about it.
So tonight I finally decided to google a way to help. Check out the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless for many ways to help.
Here’s the fastest and easiest way!
other easy ways to help are:
1. Become more aware of your language. Try to minimize language in your own and others’ vocabularies that refers to people experiencing homelessness in derogatory ways. By using expressions such as “people experiencing homelessness” rather than labels such as “bum,” “transient,” or even “the homeless,” we remind ourselves that people who are in such situations are still people first – just people who are going through a difficult period in their lives. In a time when they may find it difficult to hold onto their sense of humanity, it is particularly important that we do not use language that further diminishes the dignity of people in homeless situations. (http://www.homelesstaskforce.org/advocate.html)
2. Watch this you tube video
3. STATISTICS AND MYTHBUSTERS (http://www.homelesstaskforce.org/thefacts.html)
The wealthiest nation on Earth has a wider gap between rich and poor than any other nation.
The fastest growing group of homeless people is children under 9 years of age.
Atlanta is the poorest city in the U.S. for children – more children in Atlanta live in poverty than in any other city.
Current welfare (TANF) benefits are $282 a month for a woman with two children. Could you find an apartment to rent on $282 a month?
Fewer than 20% of those women and children living on welfare get any kind of housing subsidy.
98 million children in the U.S. have no health insurance. Eight million of those children without health insurance live in working families.
Did you know that 40% – 60% of homeless people work?
Minimum wage in Georgia is $5.85 per hour, which yields $12,168 per year, before taxes.
HUD says you should pay no more than 30% of your income for your housing. (30% of minimum wage yields $270/mo. for rent)
The average two-bedroom apartment in Atlanta rents for $834/mo. (which is 30% of an annual income of $33,360 or hourly rate of $16+ per hour). Thus, you need to earn $16+ per hour to afford that apartment, according to HUD.
46% of the jobs with the most growth between 1994 and 2005 pay less than $16,000 a year.
40% of homeless men are veterans.