“Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.” – Wallace Stegner
I’m in the middle of finals week at law school, but I wanted to take a break to share what has been going on in our world. As the legislative session comes to an end, I am reminded of how public policy shapes and impacts our everyday lives. I had a conversation with my dad a couple of weeks ago about the “criminalization of homelessness,” and I have to say that I agree with his position on this issue. Rarely do we hear from the individuals who directly experienced homelessness and suffered from mental illness. I am so proud of him and his ability to articulate how these laws impact the homeless. The homeless are human. It is so important not to forget that.
I was at Costco this past weekend and ran into my former landlords. They ran up to my husband and I, smiling and waving at us with their two daughters. It was great to see them and I was surprised when they brought up the photo essay that was published last month. The wife shared how her view of the homeless changed because of what she read and the dramatic changes she saw in my dad after he was able to get treatment. God, I live to hear that… truly. It made me teary-eyed hearing her reaction. It’s this kind of support and feedback that reaffirms my path in reaching out to the homeless. And I am even more grateful for the fact that my dad is still doing well today.
I’ve been keeping a record of all the people who have e-mailed and shared their own stories of loved ones on the streets/forests/beaches of Hawai`i and am looking forward to finding them. I do believe that in every person is a soul and being that deserves respect. They may not have made the best decisions in life, or even be in a physical/mental position to make good decisions… but, they are human. Thank you to everyone for continuing to follow the journey. See you after Finals Week!