Monday, December 21, 2009

There but by the grace of God go I

Saturday night my Mister and I went out to dinner and then to a movie with friends. We ate at the Rio Grande, I hadn't been there before, but it was so good that I ate more than I should have. The movie was also enjoyable. On the walk back to the car, my stomach hurt from eating too much and I was shivering because it was cold, and I made the comment that there's "nothing worse than having a full stomach and shivering", to which I immediately added, "except maybe an empty stomach and shivering". We were walking near the Road Home shelter, where people were lined up waiting to get in. I don't know if everyone did, or if some people spent the night on the street.

I felt selfish and wasteful to have spent money on a night out, when there are people who have no place to spend a night in. It's so easy to go about our lives and not think about the homeless.

From their website: The Road Home provides support and shelter for overcoming homelessness. We have a wide variety of programs that provide services to people. The Road Home operates out of The Salt Lake Community Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Utah.

We begin by providing people with basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, while immediately working with them to develop a plan for housing. Our programs are designed to connect people with resources and help integrate them back into the community.

Housing Programs
Emergency Services
Self-Sufficiency Programs

You can donate money online here, or you can go here for a list of items they are in need of. There are also opportunities for volunteering, including Eagle Scout projects.

That homelessness exists shows how far we need to come in truly caring for the least of these. The homeless are one of society's most vulnerable populations. If I can afford to go out to eat and to a movie, I can make room in my budget to support emergency shelters in hopes that someday no one has to spend a cold night on the street.


adamf said...

"I felt selfish and wasteful to have spent money on a night out"

I have had similar feelings at times, but I try to combat them as irrational because if you take it a step further, almost anything we do could be considered selfish. The key, I think, is that like you we consider what we can reasonably do within our sphere of influence. I don't need to feel guilty for eating out when people are starving, just like I don't need to feel guilty for not being mugged or raped or killed like many are. We just need to be mindful and thankful, and try to do what we can.

Alice said...

Adam, I agree that we can't feel guilty for living our lives. I think it was just the stark contrast of having spent money on something not essential and walking down a street full of homeless people who may or may not make it into the shelter that night.

adamf said...

I get that. When that contrast is right in front of us it makes it more difficult.