My Story as Told by Habitat Housescomments (13) May 6th, 2011 in Blogs
The Habitat House
“No social system will bring us happiness, health, and prosperity unless it is inspired by something greater than materialism.”
In the mid-1990s, I recall listening to a radio program about a Children’s Bill of Rights. Children from around the world had sent in letters offering suggestions for this program. One letter in particular grabbed my attention and remains vivid in my memory. A 14-year-old boy wrote, “Every child should have a blanket and a place to lie down and sleep!”
The last time I was in the Philippines was 1998. I read in their main newspaper, The Manila Times, that 25,000 abandoned children were living on the city streets and scrounging for food in landfills. I have walked these streets and the streets of other cities and seen groups of children huddled together, sleeping in doorways without a blanket in sight—throwaway children. A recent census in Los Angeles found more than 90,000 people living on the streets of that city. Many of these are parents with children, real children with their own hopes and dreams!
These are our children homeless on our streets. There are thousands of them! It's a strange world we live in where dogs and cats often receive better treatment than children. Welcome to America! Let’s go shopping. Blessed are those who care for others.
Habitat builds for people not profit.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that works to care for others and provide sleeping places for both adults and children. They do their best, but they are losing ground. Many families, including children, fall through the cracks in our system—a system where, as they say, profit rules. The trouble with the profit system these days is that it seems to be profitable only for a few.
The need for decent, affordable housing in this country and throughout the world continues to increase. This is especially true as 83 million new people are added to this planet every year. Every one of these new human beings needs food, water, a blanket, and a place to sleep. Millions of families in our country spend over one-third or even one-half of their income on housing alone. I know middle-class families with steady incomes who work and struggle first to purchase a home and then to make their mortgage payments on time. Money that used to go toward medical care, food, and a child’s education is now spent so families can keep a roof over their heads.
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