Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.
(I love kid movies and this is my favorite quote ever)
I haven't done this before. I'm only 17 years old, but I think I have had a life-changing experience.
On May 26, I went to see the film, Epic, with my family members and as we left, a woman called out to me. She asked if I had any food. I said no, I'm sorry, and she began to cry.
This is what she said: "I am sorry to trouble you. I have been looking through the trash to find something to eat. Is there any way you could help me? I have been homeless for 38 days and I am starving."
I gave her the $4 I had in my pocket. She said, "Bless you," and walked away very happily. As a 17-year-old girl, I was broken-hearted. I wanted to take her home, give her food, and let her shower and give her clothes. This can't be her fault that she is homeless. This was also 11 at night. I knew she would not have a place to sleep that night, but it was hard for me to see her walk away.
I am asking you to publish something about this. I know that some homeless people are bad, but they are also scared, hungry, alone, tired, and have no shelter. I am asking, that as humans, we take care of each other by having homeless shelters. Yes, they can attract violence, and yes it can maybe cause some harm to Oak Park, but I ask this, not as a Catholic, or Christian, or Jew, or Muslim, or whatever I choose to be. I ask that we put an end to this. Instead of building a luxury water park in a pool that was just fine the way it was, that we give that money to help others, to take care of each other, that we put a roof over people's heads, give them warmth, and maybe a shoulder they can lean on. Something that can help not only that poor woman but others like her.
I don't know what one voice can do. I don't know what one 17-year-old Catholic high school girl can do, but as a town I think that we can do a lot. Please, I ask you to think about what we could do to improve others' lives. It broke my heart to watch that woman walk away. I don't want to see it ever again. There is plenty of room for a homeless shelter. There is more than enough room in our hearts to open them up and let others in.
I not only want a homeless shelter, I want a center that helps these people find jobs, to shower like we do, have fresh clothes like we do, and most of all not be scared or hungry. We can stop this problem because if we stop homelessness around us, it could go nationwide, and then hopefully before I die, worldwide.
I want to get the word out there.
I want to see change.
Rachel Kolodziej is a member of the Trinity High School Class of 2014.
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