No Where To Live - Nothing To Eat

Wendy Porter-Ouellet By Wendy Porter-Ouellet, 1st Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

This article contains my thoughts, feelings about the subjects of poverty and homelessness, two very important issues that concern almost every country in our world. as well as affecting millions upon millions of people, men, women and innocent children.

Changes We Have Seen

Here we are, in the 21st century, in the year 2013, in a world that has changed in a multitude of ways, in a relatively short time. Without a doubt, some of the changes that have occurred in the last 50 to 60 years have been remarkable, miraculous even, especially in certain fields such as science, technology and medicine. Breakthroughs in the research of numerous diseases and illnesses have enabled doctors to save the lives of people who would have otherwise perished. People are living longer, healthier lives in many parts of the world because of these changes. Advances in other areas, like agriculture, mean that there is an abundance of food available, certainly enough to feed all God's children. So why then do we have millions of starving men, women and children on this planet? And why do we have millions of people who are homeless, without a decent place to lay their head at night, a place where they can feel safe, secure?

With the abundance of wealth in our world, with all the new, glitzy technology out there, and enough intelligent, capable folks to manage it all, why have we allowed this horrendous tragedy to not only start in the first place, but to go on, worsening with every passing decade? It is more than shameful, more than disturbing and heart-wrenching, it is a mammoth travesty, one I will never truly understand.

Learning More

It's one thing to know, in some part of my consciousness, about homelessness and poverty, that they are major social and political problems, but quite another to actually research and learn much more. It is almost painful to delve inside this world of hunger, poverty and homelessness because then you are brought face-to-face with the enormity of both, wondering what you can possibly do to help. To try, in some small way to make a difference, to even one person, and yet it seems like this is merely a drop in the bottomless ocean of problems our planet is so deeply entrenched in.

Questions gather and loom in my mind. How can we possibly live in a country like Canada, one that has been in the top ten best places to live in the world, yet have thousands upon thousands of people without a home or any sort of shelter and going to bed hungry? We live in one of the richest countries on the planet, one without war, one without the extreme violence and chaos so many other nations deal with on a regular basis, and yet we have over 300,000 homeless souls, men, women and innocent children, suffering the indignities of homelessness, the physical pain of starvation. Of course there are always times of economic hardship everywhere, disaster, like the Great Depression of the 1930s, and most recently, the global recession that affected almost everyone to some degree. Aside from these very difficult times however, are years of great prosperity, so why isn't more accomplished in the way of providing affordable housing and more job opportunities during these more prosperous times? Why are we able to help other nations in their times of need and hardship but can't seem to take care of our own? It isn't that I begrudge the money we spend to help others, I'm proud of Canada for stepping up to the plate, but really, what about our fellow Canadians? I really don't understand any of it although I'm sure that politics play a significant role. Somehow it just doesn't make sense to me and maybe it never will.

Children Suffer

While I am extremely bothered by the enormity of homelessness and poverty for all people, it is the children who concern me most of all. It is not only unfair, heartbreaking and disturbing, it is without a doubt in my mind, criminal, that any child, including those here in Canada, should be denied the very basics of life; food, shelter, clothing, to name only a few. To learn that one in seven users of homeless shelters are children saddened me immensely. To discover that homeless children, when compared to children with permanent homes are more apt to suffer from lack of educational opportunities, infections, obesity, anemia, injuries, burns, developmental delays and incomplete immunization, shocked and horrified me. To find that the homeless youth in our country are more likely to suffer more injuries, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, mental health problems and pregnancies than youth who reside in permanent homes, angers me. Why, why, why?

What To Do

The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is that each and every Canadian citizen should not only be asking "What can I do to help", but actually stepping up to the plate, doing whatever they possibly can to help fight this epidemic of homelessness and poverty that impacts all of us in some way. And there are definitely things that each of us can do, whether it's making a monetary donation to a charity serving homeless and poverty-stricken individuals and families or perhaps volunteering at one of the many agencies or outreaches that tend to inhabit most communities. We need to start creating a lot more noise about these issues and teach our children from an early age to lend a hand and to treat others as we would like to be treated. Something has to change, and soon, or the numbers will merely keep escalating. One last thing - we all need to keep in mind - but for the grace of God, it could be us, or those we love.

Tags

Homelessness, Hunger, Illness And Disease, Innocent Children, Poverty

Meet the author

author avatar Wendy Porter-Ouellet
Introducing, Wendy Ouellet, a young-at-heart woman who is a wife, a mother of four incredible kids, a former education assistant and now a stay-at-home writer. Many interests, skills and expertise.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
2nd Jun 2013 (#)

I know some people who say they have no money for food, but they always can afford to smoke, drink, and have a cell phone. Of course not all people who are hungry are misspending their money but some are

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author avatar Quescout
2nd Jun 2013 (#)

Some people are so poor all they have is money.

But I must say that kids are 100 fold better off today than 50 or 100 years ago. ie they do not need to work 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. Before it was common for 1 out of 5 kids to die before age 5.

I do agree we need to make the world better & better but we still need to remember what is was like way back when.

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author avatar Wendy Porter-Ouellet
2nd Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for your comments everyone, and I do agree with you about the fact that not so many years ago children had a poorer quality of life in some parts of the world. I believe that the children of the world who suffer and die from hunger and disease every day could be saved so easily. There are so many people who could help but don't and this makes me angry. My opinions only.

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author avatar Oscar Crawford Media
2nd Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for speaking to this. I will share it.

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author avatar Wendy Porter-Ouellet
2nd Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you kindly Oscar

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author avatar Oscar Crawford Media
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Wendy we take this on together one day at a time one relationship at a time.

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