The Wisconsin State Journal has been doing some remarkable and insightful reporting this year on the homeless situation in Madison. There is no way the accounts from those featured in the paper does not touch the heart, or anger the political nature within to prod for changes. But there is also anther reaction that has to be honestly discussed, too.
At what point do some of the homeless need to address self responsibility?
Today on the front page of the WSJ there are two photos accompanying a story about the challenges this city faces regarding homelessness. Above the fold is a young looking woman on State Street that seeks money from passersby. The sign she holds reads in part “Pregnant and Broke’.
On the bottom half of the paper the second photo is placed showing a young looking grandmother, a five month old grandson, and the child’s mother. The family has been homeless for about five years.
One can ask many questions such as where are the fathers in these stories? How did either of these women contemplate pregnancy when not financially able to raise a child, or even have a living arrangement? Sex is lots of fun but there also comes the need for responsibility so to make sure one does not get pregnant when one is not able to take care of the child.
No other part of the reports from the newspaper has made me more sad than reading of the children who are homeless and the struggles they go through from schooling to daily living. Some of the stories breaks the heart. So to then read that supposed adults who are now homeless do not make sure they do not add to the problem is simply galling.
There are many among the citizenry of Madison who care and are willing to help in one form or another–from paying taxes to volunteering–in an effort to aid the homeless. But there must be a good faith effort on the part of others–such as those featured on the front page of today’s paper–to act in a responsible fashion.
Many never state these reactions out loud in Madison as the level of liberal guilt that erupts from others can be akin to a gale. But as a liberal I also feel compelled to be honest. There is just something very wrong when we fail to ask of those who need help that they not make matters worse for themselves.