Points of View

I think there's a homeless person working on staff at the News & Record.

There must be, because the paper has focused a lot of attention on homeless issues of late, including Yours Truly's blog.

While linking to the article about Colby Smith (see previous post), I found this, a Homelessness Simulation run by Guilford College.

GC gets it; they are very outspoken about social conditions and justice. For them to even pay attention to the plight of the homeless is a huge feather in their cap. I think the only other college around here that speaks to homelessness is UNCG, occasionally*.

I wish I'd known about this simulation beforehand; I could've given them some firsthand accounts about the difficulty we face in trying to get that initial help. Still, it's good to see that these students are learning something about it. They may come out of the experience a little wiser, a little more compassionate, a little more willing to accept that not everything is as it seems. maybe those of them who go on to social work will remember this little exercise when facing that newly-homeless family across that desk.

I'll go even further: I'll say that anyone contemplating a career in social work should be required to undergo the same travails as the families they purport to help, just so they can have a genuine sense of empathy for them. even if those travails are artifically created, like GC's Homelessness Simulator. They should have to undergo losing their home, watching income dwindle to nothing while the bills mount, having to choose between heat, food and medicine for a child or elderly parent, and other such things as the rest of us have to do, day in and day out. Maybe some of them will be a little less haughty and will work a little harder to make sure that poor families get what they need.

But again, it's good to see that the students are looking at the flip side of the coin for a change. Maybe it ought to be a required project at all colleges.
*An aside: some weweks ago, I was on the UNCG campus, where I attended back in the age of dinosaurs, to look into finishing my degree. Of course, I had become homeless since then. I felt like I was an intruder there. And I still never got the information I was seeking.

EMPATHY thats lacking in America
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