By Mia Gomes
As the holiday season comes to a close, plenty of us are thankful for everything that this time of year has brought us. However, the less fortunate people in the United States rarely meet such a positive fate. Homelessness in America, especially around the holidays, has become an epidemic throughout and is often wildly overlooked.
A rather popular stigma around the homeless population is that if you are a part of that community, it is due to your past mistakes. While in some cases this may be true, many world issues tie into the homelessness epidemic in the US.
According to closetohome.com, uncontrollable circumstances tie into this issue heavily. This includes loss of employment resulting in insufficient funds to keep your home, lack of a support system such as family or close friends, drug or alcohol dependence (a medically recognized disease), and being a victim of domestic violence, which includes LGBTQ+ children who have been disowned with nowhere to go.
EndHomelessness.org reports that, in Massachusetts alone, there are approximately 20,068 homeless people in the entire state. As the world becomes increasingly desensitized to those who are less fortunate, this number continues to grow.
Nationalhomeless.org states that there are plenty of ways to help the homeless community, one contribution at a time. Some of the listed methods are to volunteer at local soup kitchens and shelters, advocate to local legislators to take action and help the homeless community on a governmental level, and simply showing kindness and understanding to anyone you know who may be suffering from addiction. You can never know what others may be struggling with, and a simple act of kindness can go a long way to the people affected.
While you and your family reflect on your holiday season, it is crucial to remember those who are less fortunate and to consider lending a helping hand to those in need.