By John Kelly, columnist
The Washington Post
January 12, 2017
The past three years were the first three years of The Washington Post Helping Hand, and if I’ve learned anything during that time, it’s that there are too many homeless youths and families in our area. Even one single mother and her kids spending a freezing night in their car is too many.
But I’ve learned some other things, too. I’ve learned that our city is blessed with charities that work tirelessly to end homelessness. And I’ve learned that Washington Post readers can be counted on to care. Since Helping Hand’s launch in 2014, Post readers have donated a total of $623,057 to the three inaugural nonprofits in our fundraising campaign: Community of Hope, Homestretch and Sasha Bruce Youthwork.
This year, readers donated $195,540. That fell short of our goal of $225,000, but it’s still an impressive chunk of change that will help people improve lives.
It has been a privilege to enter the homes — or visit the shelters — of people whose experiences are so very different from my own and, I’m guessing, yours.
I confess I sometimes wished their stories were neat and uncomplicated. Neat, uncomplicated stories can be easier to tell. And neat, uncomplicated problems are easier to solve.
It would be nice if people became homeless simply because they were poor. Then we could just give them money. Or just find them a job so they could earn money. Or just train them so they could find a job and earn money.
Story continued in The Washington Post.