Often times when people hear that I work with the homeless, they like to engage in a conversation about whether or not our society should be responsible for taking care of the homeless. This conversation is generally very predictable…
People talk about the waste of money that goes into social programs. Some complain about supporting people on welfare. Others say that it is up to the individual to pick themselves up by their bootstraps to get off the streets.
I try my best to share my insight but the truth is, most adults have already made up their minds about the homeless.
Last year, I was asked to speak to a Grade Three class. I was nervous because I wanted to be honest about homelessness but I didn’t want to scare the kids. I tried my best to answer the kids questions without traumatizing them. At the end of my talk I asked the class “Why should we help the homeless? Why shouldn’t we just focus on ourselves and not people we see on the streets?” Immediately a little girl raised her hand and confidently stated “Because it’s the kind thing to do.” As she said this, her peers nodded in agreement.
This third grader got it right.