A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way
I have to preface this with saying this story took place in Los Angeles. A city, for the most part, where people have preconceived (and often wrong) ideas of what people in this city are like. I was born here and have lived here all of my life. I have traveled to 17 countries and provinces and been on 4 continents and every time I consider leaving this city, somehow I stay. It is a place that continues to astound me, intrigue me, bewilder and excite. I experience moments that forever change me. And in the moments where I get fed up and feel that sinking lackluster “blasé” feeling, something wonderful happens. So while this city may have it’s faults, it continues to prove to me that kindness is not only alive and well but, in spite of the not-so-great people out there, the good prevails.
Sometimes your faith in your fellow man is restored. As I walked back from the gym, a young man early thirties was in front of the NBC Universal building with a sign that said, “Veteran back home, please help. Anything does.” And so I said, thinking I had no cash, “I don’t have cash but I can certainly get you something to eat and drink with my card.” He smiled SO big and pointed to a bag stocked with to-go containers stocked with food and said, “I’m great! People have been so kind today, it’s the best day I’ve had in a really long time.” And I smiled, made sure he didn’t need water and he said so graciously, “Today is a great day. Thank you so much!!” And as I walked away I remembered I had a $10 bill I was going to use to buy a lotto ticket and I ran back across the street and gave it to him explaining I had forgotten I had it and that he should have it to which he replied, “Are you serious? I think I might be able to stay in a Hotel tonight!” And I smiled as I walked away and then – a few blocks down as I continued to walk, a guy was crossing the street and pointed to a lady and said, “You’re dropping all your puzzle pieces,” but he kept walking SO I walked over to the older woman and started picking up the puzzle pieces and then a young man walked out of a nearby building and almost kept walking but stopped and said, “Can I help?” And so we picked up the fallen pieces and put them in her Trader Joes bag. And in that moment I was so grateful so many strangers took care of that young veteran and a young guy helped an elderly woman. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in someone’s life or in their day. Do something nice for someone who needs it. Seriously, this is why I will always have hope. People can continue to surprise you in a positive way …
Staggering Statistics + Positive Change
Below is an example of a program that WORKS:
Utah sets the stage by giving HOMELESSNESS a new face: They are offering extremely affordable housing to the homeless but for the 1st year, their home is FREE. They provide a Case Worker, Employment Agent, provide medication for those in need. AND the kicker? They are actually saving the state money.
Annual Cost of Stay + Jail Time for EACH Homeless person is $16, 670
– BUT –
Annual Cost of providing an apartment and social worker for EACH Homeless person is actually only $11, 000
By taking care of their homeless, they will effectively wipe out homelessness altogether in their area by 2015.
Below are the 2013 statistics of homelessness in a city in desperate need of repair:
According to the 2013 Reports: 58,423 men, women and children were homeless. That is an increase of 16%!
Los Angeles has a slew of shelthers and programs but none have proven successful enough in a downward economy so much to actually show a decrease in the amount of men, women, and children without permanent shelther or employment. That number was highest in 2005 after the housing bubble burst but sadly, it is climbing steadily back up.
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