Walking A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes

Posted: April 3, 2009 in Bureauacracy, Children, Compassion, Government, Homeless Shelters, Homelessness, Politics

Homelessness has been getting quite a bit more exposure in the media as of late. The reason is simple: there has been an increase of folks who have become homeless due to the current economic recession.

As a result, there have been a number of cities which have "amped up" their efforts to "help" their local homeless.  

For example –

The Sacramento city council just recently approved the spending of $1 million to add roughly an extra 150 shelter beds.

In Fresno, their city council has approved spending $700,000 to help their local homeless.

There are a number of other cities which have also increased their efforts to help the homeless.

While I think that’s a good thing, it nonetheless makes me wonder. It also makes me question the speed with which they’ve leapt into action.

Usually, politicians and bureaucrats go through the time consuming process of commissioning reports – all at taxpayer’s expense, of course. This in turn means having to appoint some sort of committee to "study the problem." Eventually there come the recommendations; the arguments for and against; and sooner or later a vote.

That doesn’t seem to have happened in these instances. There was a sudden urge to help the homeless, and the "standard operating procedures" seem to have been by-passed.

My guess it that this is because they had been placed under the glaring lights of pubic opinion – and that, because of media coverage. So it seems to me that these "redoubled" efforts are nothing more than a way to deflect public criticism – more public relations and damage control, rather than a genuine desire to actually remedy homelessness.

But, that’s the way with politicians and bureaucrats: they love to talk the talk, but aren’t in any hurry to walk the walk.

On the other hand, there is one 14-year old who is going to put his convictions into action. He’s done talking. Now he’s going to do the walking.

David Ashby, a student at the Lee Middle School in Orlando Florida, is going to use his summer break to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. More accurately, he is going to walk 1,100 miles – from his home to Washington, D.C.


To help raise the public’s awareness of the nation’s 1.5 million homeless children.

On his journey, David will be going the extra mile (please excuse the pun).

According to the article in the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando teen will walk to D.C. to help homeless children,

"… David plans to spend his two-month break walking from Orlando to Washington, D.C., sleeping in homeless shelters and begging for food along the way.

David wants to meet the children living in shelters and hear in their own words what their lives are like. He wants to experience their hunger and rootlessness and discomfort. And he wants, in the end, to stand on the steps of the Capitol and be their voice."

What I find remarkable about David is his clarity of vision – and his willingness to "walk the walk."

When it comes to homelessness, it’s too bad that our nation’s politicians and bureaucrats don’t have the same clarity of vision.

One last thing…

David has set up a website, Helping Step By Step, which gives a more information about him and his upcoming walk to the Nation’s capital. It also provides a link where you can send drop an email. I’m sure he would appreciate a word or two of encouragement.

Please take the time to visit.

  1. cflhomeless says:

    Thank you for highlighting David in your blog! We are so pleased to be partnering with David as he plans this journey; as you said, we love that he is putting “his convictions into action.”

    We will also be following David on his journey to Washington via our blog at: http://cflhomeless.wordpress.com/. We invite you to join us!

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