Support the Café
Search our site

To be young and homeless

To be young and homeless

A sobering thought to reflect on as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus: an estimated 1.6 million young people are homeless in the United States. At She the People, a blog on The Washington Post website, Bernardine Watson writes:

Most are between the ages of 15-17 years old . They are equally divided between males and females. About a third are black and studies show that almost half identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT). LBGT youth are at particular risk of homelessness because they are so often rejected by their families, schools and communities. But regardless of who they are, on any night, in any season– including Christmas– these young people are sleeping on our streets, in public places or abandoned buildings, in emergency shelters or prevailing on the kindness of friends or strangers, for a bed.

There are a lot of reasons why young people end up homeless. Some leave home after years of neglect, physical and sexual abuse, strained family relationships, the addiction of family members and family economic problems. Youth can also become homeless when they are discharged from foster care or other institutional settings with no housing or income support. As if this situation isn’t bad enough, organizations that focus on homeless youth say the problem is getting worse. The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) reports that between 2007 and the 2011-2012 school year, homelessness among students of all grades, rose 72 percent.

I wonder if there is any chance that in the coming year American citizens will begin to feel any sort of regret, shame and embarrassment about the appalling condition in which so many of our fellow citizens are living–usually through no fault of our own. A great many people who should know better–Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, for one, fall back on appalling theological arguments when confronted with the reality of homeless children, and others blame the victims.

As Stephen Colbert has said: “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Woodrum

Could the problem be we aren't a Christian nation and becoming increasingly less of one? Or is it that we are, but more concerned with our perquisites than others poverty?

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Paul Woodrum

Could the problem be we aren't a Christian nation and becoming increasingly less of one? Or is it that we are, but more concerned with our perquisites than others poverty?

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café