Gladwell on Homelessness

This might be old news to a lot of people, especially those of you who read The New Yorker and Wyatt’s World, but Malcolm Gladwell is a heck of a writer. He’s one of those guys who makes the deep stuff enjoyable and understandable for me. This link is to an article he wrote about homelessness and a few other things – wow.

It’s funny (not really funny but you know what I mean) how much the issue of poverty and homelessness is coming up in my life these days. Poverty of course is kind of a hip word right now, just like most words that come out of Bono’s mouth.

Recently we had discussion in our church leadership about the idea of a new building for our congregation. At about the same time the local paper did an article about the possibility of a new homeless shelter being built in town. 1.2 million dollars was mentioned in both cases. All I could keep thinking about was how cool it would be if we spent that much money on the poor of our city rather than on ourselves.

When I came back to YK about a month ago after 6 weeks away, two strange things happened – one was that Doug found out lots of kids at the school across from our church building don’t have lunch for whatever reason – they might not all be homeless, but I bet they are hungry. The second thing was that a lady from the Homeless Coalition (I think that’s the name) started to come to church. Weird.

Like lots of things that I spout opinions about… I don’t know anything about being homeless. I also don’t know any homeless people other than those I deal with through work. Just weird coincidences I guess.

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2 Responses to Gladwell on Homelessness

  1. i think giving the money away is an excellent idea. and starting some kind of lunch program. excellent excellent. i’m going to start looking into Victoria’s needs and seeing if we can get something going here at Shelbourne or partner with some other followers who already have something like that going on.

  2. xblairx says:

    hey tim,
    i know what you mean about poverty being a trendy word, not accusing others, but myself of using it. while i do care, it’s so easy for me to tell others what they should be doing and how they should be spending their money, but not that often do i heed my own advice. i spout off all the time when i see injustice in the world, but do i use what i have to best serve the needs of the poor? no, not really. i try sometimes, but it’s easier to point my finger than to actually do something. i don’t want poverty to just be a trendy thing. it’s cool that it is, but until we all actually start using our resources instead of just talking about the problem. thanks for the article. i needed that.

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