Wednesday, June 24, 2015

So I Stayed in the Van...

In a quick but poignant Ted Talk, Becky Blanton describes how a  choice to live in a van on 'one long camping trip' for a year spiraled unexpectedly into homelessness, depression and profound insights on how we value others and ourselves, "I don't know when or how it happened, but the speed at which I went from being a talented writer and journalist to being a homeless woman living in a van took my breath away." 

With the same limited resources as other people she saw at the homeless health clinic ("I just wasn't drunk or high") she felt like she was living their struggles...but they quickly noted that she didn't belong with them, "You have a job,. You have hope. The real homeless don't have hope." 

Like about 25-40% of homeless persons-- she represented the invisible homeless population of people who are working but just can't make ends meet. Increasingly here in Saratoga County, at our soup kitchens and food pantries, in our emergency shelters and at Code Blue, we assist people who are employed but find themselves without food and a regular place to sleep at night. Often they too were surprised at how quickly their lives spiraled into homelessness... and more often than you'd imagine they leave  work and spend the night  in a shelter, or a tent, or like Becky, they stlept in their car in the heat of summer and the cold of winter .

Tomorrow's blog post- some surprising statistics about homelessness

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