Ending Homelessness. Rebuilding Lives.

Family Homelessness: An American Reality


By: John Harris III, Americorps VISTA
Founder of Authentic Reflection

“..a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.” ~National Alliance to End Homelessness

There are some people in our land of opportunity who are deprived of the resources necessary to exercise basic rights.  They work hard.  They work long, hard hours with heavy burdens, and they do not quit.  They believe in the American Dream although their realities would deem such a life as fantasy.

How can we be promised the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness yet face inhumane decisions?  No one should ever be asked to choose between food, housing or medicine.  It’s difficult to believe in the right to pursue happiness when people aren’t at liberty to pay the hospital to save their children’s lives—no matter how long or hard they work.

What’s a home without the people you love?  People shouldn’t be forced to choose between rent and life.

What do we do when working hard isn’t enough?  What do we do when the very work ethic we glorify from the playpen to retirement isn’t even enough to guarantee housing?

We do something about it.  Together. Homelessness is an issue that affects us all.

Family homelessness is projected to surpass homelessness among singles in DC this year.

Help end homelessness.  Help rebuild lives.  Every bit counts.  Contribute what you can in the best way that you can, whether through your talent, your home, your food, your money, your time, or simply your smile.  It all matters.  Do your part.  Don’t accept homelessness as a possibility for the families in our communities.  As long as it is accepted, it will remain.  Remember the golden rule.

See you. Be you. Do more. ©

Friendship Place’s Education and Advocacy Symposium

Family Homelessness: DC’s Growing Crisis

National Presbyterian Church

April 18th 6:30pm


One comment on “Family Homelessness: An American Reality

  1. Ali
    February 12, 2013

    Minimum wage?!!!! You can’t pay a rent in Gainesville, or anywhere that I know of, plus utilities and the very basic cable, food, gas, basic cheap car insurance and one medicine on $12.00 an hour. Never mind clothes and shoes and school trips and events for the kid. You can not get any assistance with that pay either…in fact you cant get any assistance on $9.00 an hour with 1 kid and every year the rent increases. Capitalism should not be legal, rents should be controlled, and people who do good/ great jobs should get decent raises. I have helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity, and helped in other ways as well. But it isn’t enough. What society is doing to deal with this, purposely taking very low paying jobs, having a couple kids and getting on H.U.D. and food stamps, W.I.C. and applying for day care assistance, from what I have been seeing of the people I know and have known. But they still work the crappy job, they just never get out of the rut. College should be free and mandatory. High School should go right on through to a B.A., or vocational training if need be. But no more, oh I am done at the end of my senior year. Education needs to get mighty serious for EVERYBODY. Our system is a failure in my opinion. So say you can’t do science or something, well, you might be become a chef then, or run a seamstress shop. The students would be the only ones working for the low wages at that point. Just a thought. 🙂

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