The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Homelessness can happen to anyone

homelessness As you walk down the streets of Seattle, you see homeless people on many street corners. You think to yourself, "that could never happen to me." But could it?
   People think of the homeless as dropouts and people without a will to proceed in life. In actuality, they are people who were like you and me.
   There are no stereotypes that can be applied to all homeless people. Many are very intelligent. Some used to be "well off" business people that become involved with drugs or alcohol and either could not support their addiction or were so changed by it that their judgement was impaired and they lost jobs and professions.
   I am not saying that it is not their fault, but that they desire and deserve another chance.
   Some people think, "No one I know is homeless." That may be true, but millions of Americans are very close to it, one or two paychecks away. They probably wouldn't let you know this, but they could be out on the street if their next paycheck didn't come.
   I spent time with a man at a shelter who was on the brink of homelessness when he got fired from his job. With the recent employee cutbacks, there probably are many more people in this man's position out there. So people who work at places like Boeing or companies that are cutting back are worried and wondering, "What if my next check is my last?"
   What some families are doing is planning for the possibility. Some are starting savings plans that take emergencies, retirement, and potential job loss into account. What all families can do is watch their spending now so when they do have to cut back it will be a way of life.
   In conclusion, are you close to being homeless? If so, do you have a plan to prevent it happening to you? Do you have a contingency savings account that you annually add to?
   Also, you should have social support you can fall back on, such as church, friends, or family. If you don't, consider making changes.

Kyle McGee, Bothell