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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Home-full or Homeless: Much to be Grateful For

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Saturday, 21 December 2013 21:49

You're probably like millions of Americans, thinking about a bigger home, a second home, a better kitchen. Bigger-better-more is the American way. It's not greed - it's the idea that something new, something bigger might make your family more comfortable.

But comfortable is relative. To a homeless person - men, women, and whole families affected by unemployment or displaced and with nowhere to turn - your "inferior" home is a palace.

Whether you are fortunate enough to be house hunting now, are renovating your existing home, or simply doing the $300 weekly Costco run, it's easy to forget how good we have it.

Our big dilemma of quartz versus granite countertops (or even which mega-pack of 36 rolls of toilet paper to buy) pales in comparison to the decision of where a homeless family is going to be sleeping tonight.

Tough to hear, tougher to see, but not nearly as tough as it is to live.

The reality of homelessness escapes most of us on a regular business. Our busy lives of home-work-home or on weekends home-soccer-lunch-movie-Target-home leaves little room for thinking about anything out of our regular realm.

Other than the occasional request for money from the guy standing at the intersection at the freeway exit, most of us can pretty easily pretend the homeless don't exist at all.

Maybe today, it's time for an irregular realm. Let's allow a thought of others who are less fortunate to seep in. It would do us all good to have a little perspective. And then to maybe act on that perspective.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Donate to a shelter. Reach out to someone who needs a hand. A day made less difficult for someone who is struggling will be a gift for them - and for you.

No one has to feel bad for the life they live. For the life they've earned. But that doesn't mean we can't help someone else live a better life.

If you would like to help, visit the National Coalition for the Homeless, Interfaith Housing Coalition, or Just Give.

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