Stupid Misleading Headline

Teens Expe­ri­ence Homelessness

(Alpharetta-AP)—A Geor­gia church is try­ing to raise aware­ness about home­less­ness by encour­ag­ing teenagers to expe­ri­ence it for themselves.

Kat Doyle, youth min­is­ter at Saint Bren­dan Catholic Com­mu­ni­ty Church in Cum­ming, says it’s impor­tant for teens to learn that home­less­ness is not only an urban prob­lem but also exists in more afflu­ent, sub­ur­ban communities.

To see how the home­less live, Doyle had about 50 teenagers who attend the church camp out last night in a park­ing lot of a gro­cery store in Alpharet­ta and pre­tend to be home­less. They could bring a blan­ket and extra clothes, but lit­tle else. No food or drink was allowed.

One of the par­tic­i­pants, 14-year-old Kim Mack­ie, slept in a card­board box.

The teens spent the after­noon ask­ing shop­pers if they could spare any food or cloth­ing. The items will be donat­ed to local char­i­ties that serve the homeless.

No, those kids did NOT expe­ri­ence home­less­ness. They had a youth group camp-out in a nice neigh­bor­hood. It was a mild night in a Geor­gia spring. They had blan­kets and cloth­ing. It is high­ly like­ly that they had pock­et mon­ey, as well. They had a chance to bathe in their own homes before going on their “camp out,” and prob­a­bly had full bel­lies. They had their friends and youth min­is­ter with them. They were in good health, or their par­ents would­n’t have allowed them to go.

They were not alone, hun­gry, cold, dirty, sick, or tired. They weren’t wear­ing clothes that did­n’t fit or for which they had to scrounge. They had nice shoes with no holes in the soles. They did­n’t have any­body try­ing to hus­tle them into a sta­ble. They did­n’t get knocked around or has­sled by police or any­one else. Nobody was mugged or raped, right? They almost cer­tain­ly had per­mis­sion to be there in that park­ing lot, and to solic­it for donations—or the store man­ag­er would have had them removed.

I would­n’t send my child out to tru­ly expe­ri­ence homelessness—there’s a rea­son we pay the rent and util­i­ties and all reg­u­lar­ly, you know? But nei­ther would I have her par­tic­i­pate in a farce and think that she then knew what home­less­ness was like.

Cur­rent Mood: :-xcranky
Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
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