What if it were us?

Mom why is that person pushing a Kroger cart? Why is he so dirty? And why does he have that sign? What does it mean mom?

The questions from my then 10 year old son. Where we live, in the country side, you don’t see people living in the streets. We have one homeless shelter and the belief that if you can help someone you make it your mission to find that person a roof over their heads. We were spending some time in our nearest metropolitan city. Still small by most people’s opinion.
There we sat, outside the beautiful library. Getting ready to have our picnic lunch in the courtyard. There he sat seeing for the first time people down on there luck. Not the normal… Hey I could use some help, my electric was disconnected or my rent is due and I am broke. But the teens, veterans, and families with young children. Heart breaking and so so sad. Your heart can’t help but be touched.
As we sat there waiting for our friend to get bring his lunch. My sweet boy, In that beautiful childhood innocence he asked could he give the homeless teens his sandwich and chips.
As a mom the moment made my heart swell with pride. As he took his backpack off his shoulder and got what he wanted to keep out of it, looked at me and asked if he could also gift them his backpack so they could carry their stuff in it.

We walked over and gave them our sandwiches and his bag. They were so thankful. He asked why they did not have a home to live in, they were open and honest with us with their story. Runaways that found each other along the way. One because physical abuse the other because sexual abuse. Now having to sleep outside, do whatever it took to get a few dollars for some food. Risking their lives to escape the people that should have loved them and taken care of them.
Such a small thing that we take for granted all to often, a turkey sandwich, a bag of Doritos, and a couple sodas made their day.
The girl teared up and asked if she could hug us and the boy shook out hands.

Their story was like so many of teen stories. But broke my heart hearing it as a mom. Thinking about those kids, wondering if they were safe that night, still answering my son’s never ending questions. When the thought hit me…. Many of us are just a few paychecks away from being homeless ourselves. That is a scary thought In my mind seeing my son in those teens place and I wept.


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