It was a rainy horrible day, again. I'm grateful to be in a shelter that allows us to access our rooms all day...most days. On Thursday we are locked out for a few hours to allow for maintenance. The mission sleeps about 150 maybe and they are out except for meals. The rooms upstairs are open 24hrs to the best of my knowledge. Those are reserved for clients attending the mission's Christian based recovery program. During a brief morning outing to "breakfast club" at the Lutheran church about 14 blocks from here, I came across a newspaper article. It was about the Tory backbenchers being all pissy over tourism promotional dollars being given to Toronto's Gay pride week organizers. If Harper's government had done any research they would have discovered that "Gay Pride" initiative bring more revenue into a city then any other festivals. The minister in question (forgot her name) should be applauded for a job well done... she was appointed to diligently administer a fund, NOT BE THE MORALITY POLICE FOR A BUNCH OF VICTORIAN MINDED NEANDERTHALS.
What does this have to do with homelessness you are thinking. Two things the obvious being accepting other without judgement. I have found that when we get self-righteous or judgmental or insensitive toward our fellow man, God has a way of stepping in to teach us a little humility and understanding. So for your own sake take Johnny Cash's advice and,"Try a Little Kindness".
The other thing about this article was it mentioned something about traditional family values. How long do we have to be doing something before it becomes a tradition? And whose traditions. We see very few Chinese or Japanese in homeless shelters, because it is their tradition to take care of their family members. Three and even four generations in a single home. As recently as 100 years ago in Canada, families worked together and lived together in multi-generational households. A woman raised her children, helped them raise their's, then when she was old those children took care of her. I'm not saying we should go backwards... quite the contrary I say embrace social evolution and find solutions that work for today. I'm just saying if you are going to pretend to believe in traditional family values go all the way, yank grandma out of that nursing home (or homeless shelter) and put her up in a cozy little room at your place. Then step aside and let the evolution go on without you. Let the gays marry / divorce and have an equal opportunity to be as miserable as the rest of society.