There’s a storm building daily across America that will affect every man, woman and child that calls this country their home. Some have been feeling the effects even as it approaches. Some of the ingredients in making that storm so devastating are rising unemployment along with elimination of the opportunity of many full time jobs. The costs of living for food, gas, utilities, and housing are going up while wages and hours are being cut. Homes are being foreclosed on in record numbers. Young people are losing hope for their futures when they’ve worked hard but can’t find a job. Families are breaking under the increasing pressures resulting in single parents trying to raise responsible children while also having to be away from home so many hours working to try to meet their physical needs in a bad economy. The elderly are fearful of how to live with incomes that don’t increase when all of their expenses do. And sadly, for many across our nation, these ingredients are combining together to create a growing population of homeless individuals and families forced to live in cars, in tents, and in underground tunnels in an attempt to just survive.
Unfortunately, our government is spending more time trying to solve the problems of other countries across the world than it is trying to solve the problems with the very poorest and most vulnerable of our own people in this country. Their response is “go to a shelter”. But there aren’t nearly enough shelters to accommodate the number of homeless out there. And the shelters that are there are struggling to address the needs financially as the number of homeless increases while funds to address their needs decrease. Some cities and states have even gone so far as to offer the homeless in their community one way airplane or bus tickets to any other city they wish to travel to just to get them out of their community and to make it another city’s “problem”. City governments have gone in to tear down tent communities and implode the underground tunnels to “clean up” the problem. But they offer no real alternatives to providing safe and affordable options to those whose only homes they had were just destroyed in the hope that it will force them to “move somewhere else”.
But we can’t blame the government alone for the “it’s not our problem” attitude. We as individuals are increasingly coming to foster the attitude that we are responsible only for ourselves and those less fortunate are the government’s problem to take care of. We see someone in need, and unfortunately, many of us turn away thinking they must have done something to deserve to be where they are. Therefore, we justify to ourselves that “it’s not my problem” to respond to their needs. But what will the response be if it’s you who winds up homeless because your life takes a turn and you come to experience the fear, the depression, and the hopelessness of your life out of your control. All of us are vulnerable to the bad economy, to the fear of medical problems, to families breaking down when under stress, to losing a job today that seemed secure but now isn’t anymore. And if not homelessness yourself, you face the threat of rising crime, increased costs of taxes to address social issues, and the rising cost of medical care for the uninsured while people without hope struggle to survive in desperate situations.
The question presented to you today is will you be one of those who looks away and refuses to see the approaching storm and thus make it “someone else’s problem”? Or will you join us in putting our ideas, our resources, and our hands joined together to address the needs of the homeless in our community? C.O.P.P. is an organization of volunteers who work tirelessly and without compensation to work together to provide seasonal clothing, food, and other supplies free of charge to help the poor and homeless survive their circumstances. And the most important time of year for us is now with winter fast approaching. The assistance we provide, and have provided over the past 25 plus years, may mean the difference between life and death for some of the men, women, children, teens and elderly who call the streets of Kansas City their home.
Would you be willing to give us the opportunity to have a representative of our organization come and give a brief presentation on who we are, what we do, and how you can be a part of helping us address the needs of the poor and homeless in our community? We want to be a part of our city “finding a solution to the issue of homelessness in our community”, and we hope that you will give us an opportunity to share with you how you can be a part of the solution too!
If you would be willing to allow us to come and give a presentation, please contact Richard G. Tripp at the office phone (816) 920-6119, cell phone (816) 721-3291, e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit our website at www.coppinc.com as soon as possible to make an appointment.
Please don’t look away and determine “it’s someone else’s problem. Winter is approaching quickly and someone’s life may depend on it.
Richard G. Tripp, Founder/Director
Care of Poor People