Where Do the Homeless Live? | Teen Ink

Where Do the Homeless Live? MAG

January 2, 2017
By ariellazee GOLD, Peoria , Illinois
ariellazee GOLD, Peoria , Illinois
12 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat." -Ralph Ellison

She asked me “Where do the homeless live?”
She had spoken the answer without even realizing it, and I didn’t know what to say. Should I make up a lie about castles in the clouds? Should I pretend I didn’t understand the question? Should I tell her the truth?
How do you explain to a small child that the homeless live on the streets? They live in abandoned buildings and subway stations, on street corners and dirty staircases. How do you explain that the world isn’t perfect?
Not everyone has a loving family, a warm bed, nice clothes. When she is older, will she shy away from these people on the street? Will she avoid corners where they sit, speed by the signs on the side of the highway, and avoid eye contact out of fear of being noticed? Will she see their clothes, old and tattered, and assume the worst? Will she teach her kids to do the same? She might, unless, we stop and teach her now.
We must teach children that people are people everywhere. That feelings are feelings and sometimes things happen whether or not you want them to. Often, the people on the side of the road are the most forgiving, the most thankful, the most humane of all of us. So why not spare some change?
The homeless may not have mortgages or health insurance, but they have a heart and a brain and all the things that make you alive. Homes are not defined by granite countertops, painted walls, or carpeted floors; homes are defined by the people who live in them.
So where do the homeless live? I knelt down to her and smiled. “They live everywhere. They live in places we can’t find. They live in their families’ hearts. They live like we can’t. And at the end of the day, each home has a different kind of warmth.”

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 5 2017 at 1:33 pm
reach4mars GOLD, State College, Pennsylvania
16 articles 44 photos 211 comments

Favorite Quote:
I already know how it ends, I'm just here for the ride :)

The ending is so beautifully written, amazing work!