The Weight of Motherhood in Relation to Homelessness
It was Sunday, March 14. I traveled home from college to visit family and friends for the weekend. Having spent time with friends and family, I was invited to church in Charlotte, NC (I lived in the suburbs outside of the city). I agreed to go with my friends. Going to a church in the Plaza was a good experience, but one of the things I noticed around the church building itself was a number of homeless people. I can only suspect that they knew the church service times and would wait outside for dismissal. I have grounds to say this because on my walk from the church building to my car in the parking lot, I met two new friends. Both of them were homeless and seeking any form of help; cash for a meal or water to stay hydrated would suffice.
The first woman told me she was a mother of two and homeless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-19 and its effects on homelessness are not the focus of this article, you can learn more about it in detail here. The woman asked my friend and I for some cash to go to McDonald’s and buy her kids something for lunch. We didn’t have cash, but there was an ATM across the street that we used to give her the money she needed.
This is just one example, a tangible one, of homeless parents struggling to feed their kids. While the need for money and sustenance is important for adults, there is an added burden on the mother, whose heart is so deeply connected with her kids, to provide like she feels called to do. Looking into the eyes of a child they have known before they entered the world and seeing the hunger on their faces is a deeply heart-wrenching thing. This is what a homeless mother may have to experience and feel every day without the help and care from those who can give to them.
A nonprofit in partnership with Facebook by the name of Green Doors states that the typical homeless family consists of a mother in her late twenties and caring for at least two children. If this is the case and there are many children and mothers homeless on the street every night, then the need for provisions from people who can give is even greater than expected. Green Doors also mentions the effects that homelessness has on children in their developmental stages. In a way that is not too far blown out of proportion, it would be safe to say that a number of the future generation to come could be damaged by such ill conditions, emotionally and mentally.
The need to provide food, money, shelter, and so on for homeless families is great. In current times, it seems that homelessness is all too common, yet the solution lies in the hearts, hands, and wallets of those able to give to people in need.
Written by: Justin Bower