How to support our houseless neighbors - it might look different than you think!
January 29, 20212 min read
Our pals from The Bulb put it best a few weeks back, when they showed up to Tent City with pounds and pounds of fresh fruit freshly rescued, but found people sated and not in need of food: "always check to see what people need before ya go - your assumptions likely aren't it".
Because, yeah - have you ever spent time living outside? It's hard to know what's needed if you don't have first-hand experience. And for some reason, when we ask our houseless neighbors what they need - we often discount or distrust their answers.
We're in the business of feeding people well. So, it is our tendency to want to feed people organic, vegan, gluten free goodness whenever we are out in the world giving. But the truth is - there's ego in that gift. We're proselytizing, in a way. Maybe its OK if someone just wants a Bojangles biscuit sammy instead of a Bodhi Breakfast Platter complete with quinoa pilaf and raw kale salad. Maybe it isn't our place (nor the right time) to lecture them on their dietary choices, and the best and quickest way to show support is by snagging the snack they want for them. As ANOTHER wise friend of ours said this week - "People in general don’t realize that another indignity of poverty is that it denies you choices: you eat what others choose for you, you wear what others choose, live where they choose, etc".
This week, we want to highlight two organizations doing this well informed, heartfelt, listening-before-acting work; Greater Charlotte Rise and Feed the Movement. Both are actively involved and in community with Tent City's residents - are on the ground daily providing support and camaraderie and errand running anything that's needed, in direct response to the asks of the humans living there. No filters; no motives; just assistance.
To us, they're the very definition of Mutual Aid. If you're looking for two grassroots organizations that form the safety net our county doesn't provide, they're it. Consider donating today!