Fighting the Stigma of Homelessness, by Marilyn Johnson and Deborah Sherwood

The impact of being homeless not only affects adults in this country it is devastating to children.  In this article colleagues, Marilyn Johnson, a Christian Practitioner and Deborah Sherwood, a writer who focuses on spirituality and health, share their spiritual input on this heartbreaking enigma.  They give an example of a young girl who faced great adversity but chose to turn to the Bible and her belief in God to overcome the stigma associated with homelessness.  Marilyn and Deborah deliver a strong message of hope in this powerful article.

HomelessnessConsidering what homeless children face, it’s easy to understand why they may feel unloved, hardened and hopeless. It’s also easy to see why some people misunderstand them, are afraid of them and see them as a drain on community health, safety and resources.

In a video trending on Facebook around 9 million views, teen Becca Cala tells how her mental illness led to being beaten, which led to a life of homeless-shelter-hopping and being labeled, feared and shunned. But her story can inspire anyone to look beyond the surface view of a broken and indigent individual to a more substantive and accurate view, though it may not be

While the Springfield News-Leader has reported on people and organizations doing good and extensive work to address the community’s struggle with childhood homelessness, it’s also noted that the number of children considered homeless is now above 800. It’s heartbreaking to read the personal stories that led to their homelessness. Many have fled their homes, choosing the streets as a safer place.

If we think deeply about the mental and physical strains and pains that this crisis inflicts on individuals and communities, we might ask ourselves: In addition to supporting organizations that contribute to solutions, how can we as citizens help address the crisis and alleviate the pains?

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Kate is interested in sharing blogs about the impact of prayer and spirituality on our health written by her colleagues.  As a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, Kate has experienced the power of prayer in her life as well as in the lives of others.  She is the media and legislative contact for Christian Science in Maryland. Kate can be contacted through Twitter @CScomMaryland and email at: