Monday, July 06, 2009

Homeless Living in Cars

Here's a Google search for "homeless+live+in+car." 4,460,000 results.

Here's an interview with Kathleen Bellefeuille-Rice, who is able to help the homeless by not being one of hundreds of millions of Americans who live in their cars.

That's right: hundreds of millions of Americans -- Americans who are afraid of being homeless and having to live in their car, and who make choices which ironically result in their living in their cars.

Agitator: People traditionally eat together, but now, to insist that your family come together and have dinner most nights of the week is a kind of radical action. What caused such a change?

Kathleen: I think the busyness of life. Soccer, that’s a big culprit. Meetings...we are an overly busy society…. When you have a meeting every night of the week or a soccer practice or basketball or baseball ... I view this as an attempt to control our lives, and I do not want to participate in anything that’s going to control our lives. I don’t want to be that busy, that preoccupied. I want to be in charge of my life, as much as possible, given the nature of life. I wanted to say, this togetherness is important, this is what I value. My children are important! I am only given the gift of their presence for 18 years and then they will leave me. I want them to have known family life, and central to that is the family dinner and quality time together.

Agitator: That is a basic human value that was lost in my family. The family dinner just didn’t get practiced too often. How else does busyness keep us from being human?

Kathleen: If you do not work as much and have more free time, are you going to fill that valuable free time with busyness or are you just going to “be”? I spend eight hours a day, five days a week, in my garden working. I don’t want to do anything else after my long days. Oh, I do toenail care, and during the off season I do some volunteer work with preschoolers, teaching them to be peacemakers, but beyond that I say no. Where is your prayer life? Where is your centeredness? Where is time with your spouse? Where is time with your children, if you are constantly on the go? You live in your car. I did not want to live in a car.

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