I work as a Realtor in the San Fernando Valley and I have always been very involved within my community. I currently sit on the board for the Sun Valley Neighborhood Council, which helps address neighborhood concerns. A couple of months ago, the Neighborhood Council was approached by parents in the Sun Valley Community who were concerned about the conditions of their local park – Sun Valley Park. Parents stated that they were unable to take their children to the park and requested that we help remove the homeless population that seemed to have taken over. At first, I was angry to think that parents could not take their children to the park because of the neglect, shopping carts and intimidating looking individuals who spent the day sleeping in the area. However, my perspective changed when I got involved and learned more about the people sleeping in the park.
I sell homes for a living and the word homeless saddens me tremendously. When I was informed about the San Fernando Valley Homeless Coalition’s efforts to survey our homeless population, I had to get involved. As a volunteer of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, I was able to see the human side of our homeless population; it was an experience I will never forget (Monica is pictured above with fellow registry volunteers). It moved me to see how some individuals, just a short while back, had a home just like I do and yet they see themselves homeless today. In the financial climate the country is living, homelessness is like a virus; you can be infected tomorrow with the homeless virus and could very well die from it as well. Through our registry we discovered how ill some of our homeless neighbors are and how hard it will be for them to make it through the winter living in the street, some of them may not. I am aware that there are some homeless individuals that are reluctant to accept any kind of help, some due to mental health disorders and others for reason we do not know but hope to find out through an analysis of our registry results.
Through the 100,000 Homes Campaign, the goal is to end homelessness in America. The number of agencies available to assist the homeless is extraordinary and I know that together we will make a difference.
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