On Thursday October 31st, I attended a public service class where the professor had invited two spokesmen from the ‘National Coalition for the Homeless’ to share their personal stories and what the public can do to help.
The first man to speak was David Perle and he started out by delving into his own difficulties poverty and homelessness. Mr. Perle always worked but his income was not enough to afford him the basic necessities. He would work whenever someone hired him but could not find long-term employment. Because of this, Mr. Perle would move from county to county looking for work. He eventually ended up in the D.C. area and was finally able to get the help he needed by staying at a shelter. The people working at the shelter helped him during this trying time and helped him through the process. Mr. Perle refused to seek aid sooner because he felt embarrassed to let others know about his situation. He did not even go to his family because he did not want them to think that he was a failure. After Mr. Perle wrapped up his account, it was the next speakers’ turn to share his struggles with being homeless.
Alan Banks was the second during that seventy-five minute period. Mr. Banks started his story at the beginning from when he went to college, had a decent job working for the government, and was married. He had a minor shopping addiction that escalated as his marriage went on. Mr. Banks would buy expensive items that he would rarely or never use. When his wife left him, he went into a deep depression. Soon after, he lost his job but still used shopping as an outlet. Mr. Banks house was foreclosed on and he lost all of his possessions. He was living on the streets in New York City for three years and would go without food for days. Mr. Banks became so malnourished that at one point, he truly thought that he was not going to make it. Like David Perle, he wounded up in a shelter and was given the help he needed to get back on his feet. He called to attention again the importance of homeless shelters because they can really make a difference.
Once both of the men have shared their anecdotes, they went on to talk about the details for the ‘National Coalition for the Homeless’ and specific programs they offer for those in need. Both men answered multiple questions that were raised by the other students before panel was over.
The panel with these two men was informative. It drew numerous things to my attention such as understanding who the...