Homeless. Unhoused. Those experiencing homelessness.
These are all used to describe what some call "the homeless problem" that we have in our country. There are an estimated 3 million people who fall in that category and it's not getting better. Lots of reasons why. It's a complicated conversation.
what's not complicated is that they are people. Human beings. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas and grandpas...friends.
I cringe when I hear people referred to as a categorical "problem". When we use the word "homeless" in a way that could be substituted with an unwanted animal ("These homeless are ruining our city."), we not only diminish them, we debase ourselves.
(I wish I could type this next sentence in HUGE letters.)
We are at our best when we share, give, support, care, understand, and love.
When we lift others up, we lift ourselves. When we value those in difficult circumstances, we build our own humanity.
I'm not asking just for a change of terminology, I'm asking for a change of perspective and a change of heart. It's my desire that no one question their value based on their current life circumstances. When we remind people of their value, we light the spark of HOPE in their lives.