Bringing attention to poverty
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 10, 2007
It’s a problem no one talks about anymore.
But, homelessness is still a very real concern for many of our citizens.
Roy Gleiter is trying to do something to bring attention to homelessness and poverty, and he’s doing it in a very unusual way.
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Gleiter is pulling a wagon that weighs as much as a car, headed to Washington, D.C., to address lawmakers.
He is traveling with family friend Deborah Cowan and their dog, Poofer.
suffers from schizophrenia and turetts, Gleiter said. It is often the mentally ill, veterans or young people who end up homeless, he said.
Like so many others, this group became homeless following Hurricane Katrina. As residents of Gulfport, they lived in a rented trailer and did not qualify for FEMA assistance.
He says folks are forced to face the issue of abject poverty when they see him pulling his wagon along Highway 80.
While it is hard to determine the exact number of homeless in the United States, agencies report more than 400,000 families at any given time find themselves in that situation.
Those who are homeless – particularly children – face higher risks of sickness, hunger and fear, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.
The amazing thing is we now live in a nation where this does not have to happen. We have all the resources we need to keep families in safe, decent housing.
Our elected officials should be encouraged to make sure policies and plans are in place to provide help to those who need it.