opinion reflection

Reflection: Homelessness

Homelessness is injustice. It’s inequality.


I sit on the warm comfort of blankets and my bed. It rained some few hours ago. It was cold out there. I knew this as the strong winter air hit my face when I tried to open the window. I had options; sit warm with the window closed or put on the heater with the windows slightly open. Either way, I had choices. However, any choice I make won’t get me cold, wet or sick. Many people do not have these choices. Some will remain cold, sick and probably die. Many will lose faith in humanity. While we may be grateful for having more than a blanket, bed and warmth, remember to be generous with the homeless.

My thoughts shifted to the evenings I walked through the streets of the Bay Area. The posh downtowns, fine buildings and colossal highways were intriguing. I could see stretches of beautiful streets lined with tall trees. The exotic view of the ocean just a look away and the breezy atmosphere welcoming everyone, great and small. Off the beautiful scenarios, the horrible sight of homelessness sets in. I’ve come to the world’s biggest economic power and I’m glad.

Today being MLK day, I decided to shift the narrative from social injustice and racism which dear Dr. King fought against to homelessness, which has no human face and is ravaging every part of the globe. This is because, racism has evolved and to me its change is as a result of the efforts being made to stamp it out. Homelessness on the other hand, remains a generic phenomenon affecting humanity. Little or nothing seem to be done about it. People seem not to care about those who sit or lay out there in the quiet, lonely, and monstrous cold.


Few months ago I arrived America. I was elated driving through the busy highways and major roads. The posh dreams and thoughts I had unfolded before me – America, the land of the great! The place where one can find success and be successful. The place where a nobody can become a somebody. My first few weeks was busy, so I didn’t take notice of people and lifestyle because I was trying to settle in.

Now dear America you are supposed to be the big heart of the world, providing help and assisting other countries of the world. You give grants and some sort of help to other nations but what happened to your social welfare at home? Why is there a growing army of homeless living in the streets?

I feel sad each time I see a man or woman or child, clutching themselves, sleeping in the rain and cold night. Night is no one’s friend. Cold nights are even cruel. The homeless can manage to find food but there’s no guarantee that the cold night won’t take them the next day.

As we celebrate MLK day, let’s try to fight to bring economic justice and equality to every facet of life, not just in America but to the world. Let’s take sometime to reflect on our human values. Are we really being our brothers keeper? Can we put ourselves in the shoes of these men and women? Should we find a solution or wait until we are all homeless?


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