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The Working Homeless

The year Becky Blanton joined the working homeless was the same year she learned that, “The human spirit can endure anything with hope.”

While we may think of homeless people as only those who live on the streets, homelessness entails all people without “permanent, safe, decent, affordable place to live.” Solutions for America estimates, between five and six hundred thousand people are considered “homeless” at any given time. What causes homelessness? Poverty is the number one culprit. About 70 percent of homeless people live in central cities. Single men constitute about 60 percent of the homeless population.

While people may assume that homeless people do not work, there are many people who work but their wages don’t cover their housing. These folks may have social security or disability income, and/or low paying jobs, but can’t pay their bills. Many live in their cars.

How did Becky Blanton, a middle-aged, educated, photographer and former journalist, who once wrote essays for Tim Russert, go from being a talented professional to a homeless woman living in a Wal-mart parking lot?

Her plight, which started out like one long camping trip and ended up with her feeling totally out of control, caught my attention on TED, is a small non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world’s most inspiring voices.Check out how Becky bounces back to tell her story and inspire others:

Becky poses some interesting questions: Is homelessness ever an attitude or lifestyle choice? Can the human spirit endure anything with hope? What are your thoughts about Becky’s experience of becoming one of America’s working homeless?

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


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5:54PM PST on Feb 3, 2014

fascinating, thanks.....

5:06AM PST on Jan 21, 2014

thank you for sharing

4:54AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

very sad

4:00AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

8:14PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

And comments.

8:10PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Too many homeless, thank you for article.

8:10PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Too many homeless, thank you for article.

2:30AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

5:32PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

I took in a friend and her 2 cats for 13 monthsths until she could get back on her feet.

It's pathetic to have so many people homeless in the USA, when the ILLEGAL ALIENS get so much.for free.

6:38AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Maybe this is you, and maybe not, but if you are reading this you probably are one. Hi, I am the working homeless!! I began thinking about this and for some reason it really bothers me that I cannot find this type of solution anywhere- so I decided maybe I should put it out there and implement it myself. You see part of the reason that so many people are working and homeless is simply because their salary does not cover their expenses. Or, some of us may have poor credit and not able to apply for a home. We may have families that would not be understanding of our situations so we cannot reach out to them. There may be a past criminal records that stops us too.  Whatever the case may be there must be a way we homeless people who are working, able, intelligent and educated can come together in the city that you live in and partner with one another to share our expenses until we get on our feet. We need to find one another and get apartment/house together. No one should live on the street/in our cars! Not in America. I have decided to create a website specifically for us where we can meet one another and find someone suitable to live with. WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE! We are only temporarilary in a bad situation!!!! Yes it is going to be a challenge to live with a stranger. But the reason that you're actually doing this is to help one another and to help yourself.

You must be honest with yourself and with other people if this is going to work. If you have a criminal history, i

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