Food for Thought

Food for Thought

by Sarat Lue

One of my friends asked me about my opinion on giving clothes to the homeless since winter is around the corner. While I agree that people should receive our help to get through the cold season, I can’t help but to wonder what would happen when the cold season is over. What would happen to these “extra” clothes when they are no longer needed? Would they end up on the sidewalk, next to train tracks, near or in the creeks? As we make another trip around the sun, are we just simply repeating the process?

Homeless tent along Coyote Creek.
Photo by Sully Griffin

Why are we bandaging our problems over and over? Why can’t we come up with a permanent solution that is efficient and effective?

Michael Fallon, director of SJSU Center for Community Learning and Leadership, has been trying to make his vision for a “homeless village” comes alive, but he faces many obstacles. The idea behind the homeless village is to create a shelter for the homeless and help them get back up on their feet. Let’s think about this for a second. If we can stand up such a place, people will have a place to go to escape to cold. Furthermore, this would be the place that help them reintegrate themselves back into the society as contributing members. Can you imagine the future that they can have? A future where they can support themselves, cook their own food, and vote for people and policies that they believe in. Compare that to their current path of wandering and hoping that they will have enough clothes for the winter to stay warm.

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