Photo by foreignobsessed
Today is a Blog Action day, and the topic is poverty. Fitting, in this time of economic crisis, I suppose. Because I have worked in the field of social work for the past 9 years, I feel this is something that I can speak to. Here are just some of the things I’ve encountered at work over the years:
-A young boy, age 8, diagnosed with Schizophrenia. So sick with this disease that his parents could not care for him, and so he was left to the children’s residential unit (i.e., orphanage). Had his parents been better off, they would have had insurance, and could’ve bought his medicine, and he would have had a chance at normalcy.
-A teenage mother with the most beautiful little girl you’d ever want to see. She was turned in to social services because she couldn’t pay her heat bill, and they were both freezing. When she saw how nice the foster home was, this mother gave up rights to her little girl so that she could have the best in life.
-A man, age 35 or so, with a mental illness. So poor that he was using one of his two t-shirts as toilet paper.
-Hundreds of people per year who came into my vocational rehabilitation program desperate to work. People who have mental illness, developmental disabilities, or just down on their luck. Many of them never found employment (due to the stigma surrounding their disability or because of criminal history or poor work history, or just because the economy is down), and disappeared.
So, as I sit in my furnished apartment, with electricity, running water, and everything I need, I pray for those who don’t have what I have. I hope you will too. And as the weather begins to turn cold in some parts of the country, and fires rage in other parts of the country, I urge you to reach out to someone who has less than you. And if you are in the position to give a person a job regardless of their background, I promise you, that is the best gift you can do for a person. You know the old saying, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never go hungry.” Don’t let your fellow man go hungry.