A few days ago I wrote a post about youth homelessness. I could hardly believe I was writing about such an issue as a certain phase of my family’s…

A few days ago I wrote a post about youth homelessness. I could hardly believe I was writing about such an issue as a certain phase of my family’s life involved an overwhelming sense of uncertainty over where to call home. When my dad lost his old job (and savings along with it) years ago we really didn’t have a fixed shelter to call home. For months, we lived partly in friends’ houses, partly in a motel. It was hard to jump from one place to another without any certainty as to where we would go next. I told no one about this, and it was difficult to go to school and be asked occasionally by friends or teachers where I had lived. What would I answer? Of all the emotions that I felt as a young child, jumping from one temporary home to another, the strongest was shame over my family’s situation. Shame because all the images I saw and all the associations I was taught as a child of “the homeless” were negative, and to become part of this classification was even more difficult to bear with. Even if we live in a society that has become more aware of homelessness because of the global financial crisis, there is still a predominant perception of the homeless as individuals who threaten other people periodically as they wander the streets. But many are families like my own who have fallen into dire circumstances. We need to change how we see marginalized groups in society if any progress is to be achieved in social justice. – Allyson

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