The Alpahabet Soup Challenge is an event that requires the blogger to use every letter of the alphabet in random order. It is to encourage daily posting. You can learn more here. Several people have taken the challenge and it’s really helped me to write daily since I started. You can read my entries here.
Today my post is going to be of a serious nature. I don’t like to dwell on negative topics because I believe in the laws of attraction. I know that thinking good thoughts and being positive are going to attract good things in my life. Negative thought patterns will do the opposite. Today, however I am questioning a few things.
On Saturday, my sister and I went to Toronto to see “Beautiful, The Carole King Musical”. It was wonderful and I described the day as perfect. You can read more here. There was one disturbing thing that marred the day and has caused me to question how we treat the homeless. Justine was a great advocate for homeless people. You can read more here. She knew that without the support of family and friends she too could have become homeless. It’s a very common plight for people with mental health issues. It’s a vicious cycle. People with mental health problems have trouble getting properly educated. This leads to not being able to work steadily. This leads to having no benefits for the medication that would allow them to function. This leads to self medicating with alcohol and drugs, This leads to stealing and violence which utilmately leads to becoming homeless. How can we break this pattern?
When I lived in Toronto, I became desensitized to homeless people. I would literally step over a person on the street. I have not lived in a large city for many years and I must tell you I was very shocked and saddened to see so many people sleeping on the sidewalk. When we came out of the show we saw a very pregnant woman rubbing her bare belly and chanting. My sister turned to me and said,
“She should not be having a baby.” I said,
“What’s her option? She can’t afford birth control and she has no benefits”.
This young woman could have been my daughter. Justine found a psychiatrist who gave her medication for free. This is not the case for many people with mental health issues. I’m wondering if this is my wake up call. Should I carry on Justine’s legacy and work with agencies who help homeless people? It was never my calling before. I’ve worked all my life with people who have disabilities. That’s where my heart belonged. I’m retiring and will have more free time for volunteer work. I’m asking myself, how can I best help the homeless?