Poverty is everyone's problem
By Christopher Fay
Carol Morello and Dan Keating’s Sept. 29 front-page article, “D.C., region show disturbing rises in childhood poverty,” shed important light on the growing gap between the “have and have-nots” in our area. This discrepancy is further underscored by census data showing the Washington region to be the best-educated area in the nation.
I have worked on behalf of the homeless for 25 years, and people are always shocked to learn that the average age of a homeless person is only 9 years old. If we help provide the tools for these children and their parents to break the cycle of homelessness, we could decrease societal costs and increase the overall quality of our communities.
To build stability and self-sufficiency, we must offer the comprehensive tools many of us are fortunate enough to have at our fingertips: education, affordable housing, counseling, financial consulting and old-fashioned TLC.
Homelessness and poverty are societal issues that are often misperceived, and there is a lack of appropriate awareness of them. We all have a responsibility to address these concerns. Living in what is officially the smartest region in the country, D.C. area residents can lead the way.
The writer is executive director of Homestretch, which provides services and transitional housing for the homeless.
| October 4, 2010; 7:11 PM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic
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