Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jessie's Story

Photo Credit: Robin Hood Foundation

Everyone in this country needs to hear Jessie's story. She and her children are one family in millions of families who didn't ask for the circumstances they are living in. They are honest people trying their best to survive and be productive members of society in spite of the horrors they've endured. Every time you vote for legislators who oppose government subsidies like HUD, FAFSA, and SNAP, you are contributing to putting these good people back on the streets, in violent homes, or into lives of turmoil and crime. This woman, those teenage girls, and those 8 year old twins don't deserve that, do they? No. The answer is and will always be NO. They do not. And the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of citizens receiving these benefits are just like Jessie, Sierra, Annabella, Tristan, and Anya.

If you think you don't have to contribute to the good of your neighbors because their plight doesn't affect you, open your eyes and take a look around. The results are everywhere. Domestic violence shelters are at triple capacity. Homeless people are holding cardboard signs on the streets and begging for loose change in parking lots. Public mental health facilities are shutting down, leaving the mentally unstable without treatment. Crime is rampant. Jail is a shelter that offers a roof, three meals a day, and regularly-scheduled medical care. That's better provision than many innocent people, including children, the elderly, the disabled, and our beloved veterans are able to obtain in this nation. Are you okay with that? Do you think neglected, abused, uneducated, impoverished, hungry, or homeless people aren't going to take that risk? Of course they will. It is human instinct to fight for survival. Put yourself or your kids or grandkids in these circumstances and see what risks you're willing to take to resolve it. You may be surprised, but you shouldn't be.

Wake up, face the facts, and act accordingly, or keep your mouth shut about the state of our communities, our society, and this nation. Don't stick your head in the sand and be part of the problem. Be part of the solution.