The trip to the Columbus House was pleasant and an eye-opening experience. I’ve been to shelters before and Columbus house looked a lot different than other shelters I’ve been to. When I say different, I mean it had a much nicer appeal to it than the other shelters. The outside had a nice paint job and it looked inviting. The inside it was also nicer than what I was used to seeing. The inside was clean and well kept.
Talking to Alison Cunningham, the CEO, was also nice. She isknowledgeable because she’s been working with the homeless and Columbus House since the 1980s – and this is the part that really caught my attention. Cunningham spoke about how the majority, if not all of the people in the shelter, didn’t have ID, a birth certificate, or a Social Security card to get a lease on a home. Things we take for granted and think is second nature to have, these people don’t have and it hinders them in a big way. It’s a never-ending cycle for them because they need to provide one of those documents to receive housing.
My call to action for this isn’t just the standard “we need to end homelessness” but we as privileged, more fortunate citizens need to be grateful for what we have and make the best of it. We can’t be complacent because people in these shelters would give anything to be in our position, and if they were in our positions they would work as hard as possible to keep it and move forward. So we need to do ourselves a favor and work with what we have, and not complain because things could always be worse and if you can help out someone less fortunate than you.
By Donald Scott