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Group of children standing in classroom
One of these children could be homeless...
Every two minutes a child in the United States becomes homeless. The average age of  a person in The Road Home program for the homeless in Dane County, Wisconsin is seven years old. In Wisconsin, 8.31 percent of homeless people are veterans. Over all, 15.2 percent of Americans live in poverty.

As a nation we pay more attention to the deficit and the national debt than we do to the statistics of homelessness. The homeless are among us, yet we do not see them. There are homeless children in our schools. They sleep in cars and bus shelters and may not know where there next meal is coming from. Kristin Rucinski, executive director of The Road Home - Dane County, said in a speech that,

It does not get easier when I have to turn a family down for shelter because we are full. It was not easy the 1st time, it was not easy the 800th time, knowing that a family will be sleeping in a bus shelter or that I may come ito work in the morning and see a family in our parking lot sleeping in their car.
Stability

Think about your life right now. For most of us we get up in the morning and go to work. At the end of the day we go home, eat dinner, and then spend a quiet evening at home with our families. Our lives are stable. We know that we will have a roof over our heads and food on our tables. We will have a warm, dry place to sleep at night.We have stability in our lives and we take stability for granted in our lives;  if you are homeless, you do not have stability. Some of us may be just one paycheck away from financial disaster and homelessness. But, we still have stability in our lives. Whether it is our own home or the home of a caring relative or friend.

Dreams

We all have dreams. As a child watching the Apollo missions I wanted to be an astronaut (I still do). Other dreams I have had are to be an award winning novelist, to find the woman of my dreams and have the happily ever after. To see my son succeed in school and in life. For his dreams to come true. But what does someone who is homeless dream about? At The Road Home's fundraiser there was a dreams tree, where people wrote down their dreams and placed them on the tree.

To have just enough help to get over the hump.
To not feel isolated.
To have a black lab.
To have $500.00
None of those dreams are big dreams. They are dreams of survival and stability. Of those, I think the person wishing for $500.00 hit me the hardest. I spend that each month on groceries and gas in about a month's time. It is not a lot of money in this day and age. This anonymous person is not wishing for a million dollars, or even to win the lottery. Just for $500. I don't know what the money is for—but I bet it is important to them, maybe even lifesaving.

We are the most powerful military nation in the world, the richest nation in the world. Yet we cannot take care of our own. We spend billions of dollars on elections—yet we cannot ensure that all of the children in this nation have the stability in their lives that is needed to shape them into the leaders of tomorrow. How can our nation have a future when so many children do not?

In the time it took me to write this post 15 children became homeless.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Dream Menders and Badger State Progressive.

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