Homeless in New Jersey

Hopefully the workers in the photo did not have an experience like this!

We are all familiar with the scene: Workers standing on street corners, hoping for a job. There are many different situations–some are waiting for a specific employer to pick them up, others just hope that someone will need them that day. Most of the people we know have been successful enough to pay their bills, send something home to families, and save enough for the months when there is little work.

A few, though, fall into a downward spiral of unemployment, often hastened by alcoholism. They may exist by sleeping in some protected spot on the street, living under bridges, or staying with friends for a few nights. As the cold weather approaches, prospects for their survival grow ever dimmer. Last winter it was reported that one man died on the street in Palisades Park, and two others managed to get back to their home country where they passed away because they were sick.

CoFiA is concerned about them. They came here out of desperation but full of hope that they would find a better life. But as the disease of alcoholism overtook them and work dwindled to nothing, it seems there is no hope for the future.

Is this inevitable in a country like ours, where so many have so much? Is there no way we can share a little, in some organized way that will actually make a difference? Let us know if you have ideas or suggestions.

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