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It Shouldn’t Have to Happen to You for it to Matter to You: Brianna’s Story

It’s critical to keep in mind that, even in a world where empathy seems to be dwindling, we should care about the struggles of others, regardless of how directly they affect us. Homelessness and food insecurity are two urgent problems that need our concern and compassion.

For millions of people worldwide, homelessness is a harsh reality, not just a statistic. Every person experiencing homelessness has a backstory. A tale of adversity, tenacity, and frequently, institutional failure. Homelessness does not discriminate based on background or occupation, despite popular belief. It extends beyond individuals who suffer from abuse and drug addiction. In actuality, a large number of those who are homeless are honest, hardworking people who have fallen on hard times as a result of uncontrollable circumstances.

Consider Brianna’s story, a woman from Essex County, NJ who had been working tirelessly to complete her master’s degree while juggling a job and caring for her newborn baby. The COVID-19 pandemic struck, leading to widespread job losses, and Brianna was not spared. She lost her job and, like many others, struggled to make ends meet. The NJ State moratoriums on evictions provided her with temporary relief, but when these protections were lifted, she found herself unable to catch up on the rent and expenses that had accumulated. Despite her best efforts, Brianna found herself and her daughter at the Apostles’ House, facing uncertainty.

In a similar vein, many individuals—including those who’ve had steady employment—are impacted by food insecurity. It’s not just about hunger; it’s also about not always being able to get wholesome food. Even in the midst of plenty, it’s about the worry and anxiety of not knowing where your next meal is coming from.

Why Should We Care?

One might argue, “But it’s hard out here for everyone. I have a roof over my head and food on my table. Why should I care?” The answer is simple: because empathy is not confined to personal experience. Just because we may not have experienced eviction, homelessness, or food insecurity ourselves doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to those who have.

True empathy transcends personal boundaries. It’s about recognizing the humanity in others and extending a helping hand, even when it’s not convenient. It’s about advocating for policies that address the root causes of homelessness and food insecurity. It’s about supporting organizations like the Apostles’ House and initiatives that provide shelter, food, and resources to those in need.

Homelessness is not a permanent state of being, it’s a temporary setback for many who have faced unfortunate circumstances.

The Apostles’ House approach to helping the unsheltered is guided by empathy and compassion. It’s not just about providing material goods; it’s about recognizing the inherent worth and humanity of every individual, regardless of their current circumstances. Maintaining their sense of dignity and self-worth is crucial for their well-being and eventual transition out of homelessness. By providing shelter, food and services they need to secure a stable home, we affirm their value as individuals and show them the respect and compassion they deserve.

At the end of the day, it boils down to a fundamental question: What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to live in a world where we only care about issues that directly affect us, or do we want to strive for a society built on compassion, empathy, and collective action? The choice is ours.

So, let’s remember that it shouldn’t have to happen to us for it to matter to us. Let’s open our hearts and minds to the struggles of others, and let’s work together to create a world where homelessness and food insecurity are relics of the past.

Join Us in Making a Difference

Take action today by making a donation to the Apostles’ House. Your generosity will help us provide safe shelter, warm meals, and vital resources to Women like Brianna and their families who are experiencing homelessness. Together, we can make a lasting impact.
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