Anywhere you hang your hat. That sounds so easy, a pat answer that used to work, at least for many. But as we see in relentless media, home is here one minute, gone the next. People are now living in shelters, refugee camps, in ditches, basements, wondering if they will see the next day.
In this country, there is a large population of people for whom the word “home” means where they once lived. Folks who live in the streets, who panhandle for a living, or who depend on all sorts of cobbled together social services for their survival. For those of us who have never had to contemplate living this way, it is easy to judge–to think “These people are lazy, probably criminal in some way, addicts, or drunks. They did something to deserve to live like this.” Or as we drive by them, holding their signs asking for help, we feel a fleeting wave of pity and move on to thinking what to have for dinner.
Home is complicated. It is something I have always taken for granted. The places I have lived have always been comfortable, safe, as attractive as I could make them, and most of all, far away from the places where the definition of a “home” meant something very different from mine.
Homes are being taken away by war, by fire, drought, and catastrophes in such great numbers I can’t begin to contemplate. I dread watching the news. This itself reveals how privileged I am. To sit in my designated room for tv watching and be made uncomfortable and sad looking at those who are homeless, fleeing, bombed out, living in the streets?
Let’s do something about it. Here is what I can do at my age and from Dayton, Ohio. Maybe you can join me from your home.