Fifty million Americans live in poverty, and among them, in that blur of humanity, are the many who are displaced. If this tsunami known as homelessness could end; if we won the infernal war against the poor; if there could be corps of rescuers arriving in the aftermath, imagine rescuers breaking into shelters—it would be like invading the barracks of concentration camps and then, gasping, looking each one in the face, discovering this one is whose brother, this one is whose cousin or sister, this one is whose mother or father, son or daughter. Carrying each one squinting out into the sunlight of health of mind and spirit, and restoring them, not so much the belly replacing jutting ribs, but restoring them to the embrace that has seemed lost forever; reuniting them with the welcoming threshold; reviving the potential of their minds and talents to powerfully rise, each one spiritually awake in a redeemed I am. Imagine providing each one with a toolbox for self-sufficiency. Knowing to give each one papers declaring their freedom and full privilege would be as if the names on those papers would be interchangeable with every American. Because I cannot become who I am completely unless you can become who you are completely. If you are diminished I am diminished. As it is said, “You are the we of me”. We cannot just imagine a world without homelessness. We are to become the counterforce: the actors and doers, the Schindlers who make people free one by one.
December 2, 2014