A few days I posted a blog and asked the question:
Why are there more than 1.6 million homeless children here in the United States?
I wrote about how most people are not aware of the severity of this issue and how others just do not want to believe this can be happening here within our borders.
I then talked about how I was not willing to sit idly by and that I had started a foundation (Generation Why?) whose mission is to both open people's eyes up and to also create real solutions for kid's in grave need.
The reaction to my article took me off guard initially.
I got two common retorts. The first was that my number of 1.6 million was a gross exaggeration. The second (and more common) response was from people blaming the government for creating the problem. There were also a few people (rightfully so in my opinion) putting the onus on poor parenting.
Let me address the first two. To the people who claim the number of homeless youth is much less than I wrote I have two thoughts for you:
1) If you do some research you will see the number of 1,600,000 plus is commonly used by many different reputable resources.
2) Hypothetically, what if that number is wrong? What if it is actually 160,000? What if it is only 16,000? What were a mere 1,600? Does it matter? Should we care less? Should we do less than is being done now?
Next, for the people who are turning this tragedy into a left wing/right wing political debate, I have a question for you: Are you kidding me?
Have you nothing better to do than complain about how the government is the cause of this dilemma? The liberals are blaming the conservatives... and the conservatives are blaming the liberals. I suggest you stop spending so much reading and commenting on blogs and just run for political office.
At first I was surprise by the response but after I let it process through my mind I realized I should have predicted such feedback. You are doing exactly what the actual politicians are doing that those with some simple common sense despise.
I, for one, am choosing not to make the issue of child homelessness a political issue. While too many people are debating the difference between 'wrong and right' and persecuting 'greedy' Americans with their hollow words, I plan to actually do something about this problem.
Does whining actually benefit children without a bed to sleep in tonight? What if your child had nowhere to sleep tonight? Would you behave a little different?
It is too easy to just play the blame game. Taking responsibility... taking action... are much harder paths to take but are clearly the necessary ones.
This is why we started the Generation Why Foundation and why we are making a documentary film designed to wake people up to the truth. If the government wants to sincerely help -- which it appears they do based on some recent measures taken -- that is great but I also feel it is our social responsibility to take care of our own children, whether they are our own blood or not.
Remember 'no child left behind?' Well there are more than 1,600,000 (if you choose to believe that number) feeling left behind. My team and I communicate directly with many homeless kids here in southern California.
Most of them are NOT on drugs. Most are alone and scared. Many were abused and abandoned by their families. Many feel safer on the streets than they did at home. ALL of them are the victims of emotional abuse. They need our help. They need your help.
Please take 2.5 minutes to watch the preview trailer for our upcoming documentary Generation Why?:
For more info go to www.genwhymovie.com.
Rich German is an author, speaker, business and life coach. He is also the creator of the film Generation Why? His website is www.richgerman.com.