July 2013. That’s the date by which 100,000 Homes intends to find homes for 100,000 homeless individuals throughout the country. It’s not a huge number considering the statistics of the problem. Estimates are between 2.3 million and 3.5 million of us are homeless in America. Some in shelters, some living in cars, many on the streets. The sterotype of the unwashed older man is not indicative of the homeless, and families and children make up a large part of the demographic. It’s not cute hobos with red polka-dotted handkerchiefs holding their belongings on the end of a stick, but it might be your neighbor, or you, with just the next missed paycheck or medical bill.
Communities everywhere, 69 of them so far and counting, are refusing to accept that homelessness is simply part of the cultural landscape. Local teams form, define the problem for their region, source housing (a tough step, but an incredible game plan and resources can be found with the website), and place homeless in new digs, one person at a time. It is an achievable goal with small victories all the time, and a great model for how, when we don’t set for ourselves the task of fixing the entire world, we make the most earth-shifting difference.
Is there anywhere you are aiming too high to be effective? It’s not about lowering expectations, but refining our aim. Volunteer with a local team of 100,000 Homes for some great trench training in success and solving issues, seeing solutions through to the end.