The format of a My Take is 150 words – no more, no less – to express an opinion on a different topic each week. This week’s topic was homelessness.
Despite growing up in a small town, removed from the reality of homelessness in Canada, homelessness did not shock me when I visited cities such as Montreal and Ottawa. TV, books, and the news prepared me for what to expect. The practice of turning a blind eye towards the homeless was the true revelation during these visits.
When a person talks, they are acknowledged, whether the comments are directed at a best friend or a stranger. Why is the line drawn when this person happens to be homeless? A simple acknowledgement of their existence is better than what many are doing now. Countless times I have seen people ignore the homeless like the plague, as if they are somehow a lesser being.
People experiencing homelessness are sons, daughters, parents, and siblings. Purposefully ignoring the homeless only adds to the negative stigma that already surrounds homelessness.