168 Homeless

What do you think of when you think of homeless people. I think back to the photographs from the Great Depression era of people, men, women and children who had no home, living in the woods or the ally ways of big cities. Apparently, the definition of homeless has changed.

A week or so ago, Loudon County officials and volunteers were involved in a project called Point In Time, an operation to count the homeless in Loudon County. In order to receive federal grant money, the county needed to identify how many homeless there actually are in the county.

Well, the count is in. 168. According to those in charge of the count, they found 168 homeless folks. But under the new definition of homeless, many of the people were living in residential motels or homes of friends and families.

Now before anyone thinks I'm just cold and indifferent to the plight of those in need, let me explain. Loudon County has a number of outstanding private, civic and religious organizations that help those truly in need and that's the way it should be. People helping people. Not the government.

Back in the 60's President Johnson established "The War On Poverty." Since then, we've spent tens of trillions of dollars on the poor and we now have more poor among us than ever before. The government clamed they were going to set up a safety net for the poorest. Today, that safety net in many instances has become a hammock.

I'm sure there will be a call from officials for even more funding for the homeless and poor but as we have learned, that will not solve the problem. The responsibility is ours. We all know someone who could use help. Let's us help them. Leave the government out of it.

Kind of reminds you of that Ronald Reagan statement. "The most frightening words in the English language, I'm with the government, and I'm here to help."   

Every day we all make choices. Those choices have consequences either good or bad and we have to live with those consequences good or bad.