Thursday, April 14, 2011
This woman, whose name is never given, first came to the coast to teach the first grade in Orcutt, California. This was the best position she had at the time, however, she figured that being the wife of an attorney in Santa Barbara was a better choice. She resigned from being a teacher and devoted all her time to being a mother. She had a boy and he was the greatest pleasure in her life. However this all changed when his father decided to leave for another woman. It is seven years later, she lies on the beach with a fever of 104 degrees with kidney distress. If it wasn’t for an 11 year old girl named Jennifer, she probably wouldn’t have lived. The girls family nursed the woman back to health and she was on the streets again. She discusses how there is a constant search for a more comfortable place to sleep, as going from a king size bed to sleeping on the ground can be hard to adjust too. She still had her elementary teaching certificate and three college degrees, however she couldn’t find a job due to her timidness and appearance. When her son was six she had her husband take the child as she thought it was in the child’s best interest. This was especially hard for her, crying herself to sleep every night for years. What she recalls on most about being homeless is the hunger, learning to live with that gnawing feeling in your stomach. Yet she says that she never begged for money or food. One day, as if things couldn’t get any worse, she was in the wrong place and someone kicked her. Her skull was cracked and she suffered a bad concussion. It took about a year and a half for the pain to go away. She ended up going through about 100 lawyers to finally make her divorce with the attorney final. While halfway across the country, she claims a miracle brought her back to Santa Barbara, her dance teacher asked her to house sit her home. She studied with many artists on an off for a couple of years and was able to get her educational superintendent license. She is currently a school administrator. She claims that her experience being homeless made her achieve the highest position in her career. Her only hope is that her story will help you think twice about the next homeless person you see. You never know, she could have 3 college degrees.
Anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless, according to estimates of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Look at these percentages of how homeless people get or make money, if they do get money at all. Some people find it hard to give money to homeless people because they are afraid that all they will buy is alcohol and drugs. Poverty can bring some struggles.
This website talks about the devastating facts of homelessness. It also lets us know how fast the homeless rate is going up. Trying to understand how homelessness can effect families is difficult if you are not in any situation like this, but once you realize the damage that can come of it, hopefully you can help to make a change.
Transition House - Providing shelter, housing and support services to Santa Barbara's Homeless Families.
Transition House is dedicated to the solution of family homelessness in the Santa Barbara community. Capable and motivated families with children are offered respectful, non-sectarian residential services and the life skills needed to alleviate their poverty, and to restore self-sufficiency and dignity.
In 1984, Transition House was created by volunteers from the Santa Barbara area who stepped forward to give food and shelter to their homeless neighbors. Transition House’s program is based on the understanding that the root cause of family homelessness is poverty. There may be other and varied contributing factors to homelessness, but underlying it is always poverty.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
"The Santa Maria Joint High School District, has 557 homeless kids in its student body of 7,641 pupils. That district’s Superintendent, Kathleen Pritchard, said 519 of these kids are “doubled-up,” 13 live in motels, 10 are in shelters, 9 in something called “not a standard residence” (probably a car). Five of the 557 are unsheltered, a.k.a. on the street."